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Dream Girl: A Novel (Hardcover)
July 2021 Indie Next List
“Carve out a lot of time for when you start Dream Girl, because you're not going to want to stop! Haunting, atmospheric and often funny — this is one of Lippman's best, which is saying a lot!”
— Jason Hafer, Reads & Company, Phoenixville, PA
"With this tip of the hat to Stephen King's Misery, Dream Girl is funny and suspenseful, with a dread-worthy final twist." —People
“My dream novel. I devoured this in three days. The sharpest, clearest-eyed take on our #MeToo reckoning yet. Plus: enthralling." —Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and The Fever
Following up on her acclaimed and wildly successful New York Times bestseller Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman returns with a dark, complex tale of psychological suspense with echoes of Misery involving a novelist, incapacitated by injury, who is plagued by mysterious phone calls.
In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?
Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.
Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?
And why does no one believe that the call even happened?
Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.
And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.
Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.
About the Author
Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the "essential" crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her daughter.
"It’s modern noir with a strong hint of Stephen King’s Misery. I absolutely loved her earlier novel Sunburn. Her writing is very slick and intelligent noir."
— Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"With this tip of the hat to Stephen King's Misery, Dream Girl is funny and suspenseful, with a dread-worthy final twist."
"Lippman’s sharp and timely thriller is a fast read, one that will surely please her many longtime devotees as well as attract new and enthusiastic fans."
— USA Today
“The gifted Ms. Lippman, in this tale of a talented cad who more or less gets what he deserves, shifts between passages hard-boiled and satirical. Dream Girl offers a healthy dose of suspense and wittily skewers literary life.”
— Wall Street Journal
"Laura Lippman is one of the best novelists working today, period. Seeing her name on the cover of a book is a guarantee of a highly satisfying reading experience...Laura Lippman is a major writer. If you don’t know her, there’s 25 books waiting for you."
— Chicago Tribune
"Socially conscious (the #MeToo movement makes a decisive entrance into the plot) and packed with humor, ghosts and narrative turns of the screw, Lippman’s Dream Girl is indeed a dream of a novel for suspense lovers and fans of literary satire alike."
— Washington Post
"Positively humming with the vibrancy of a slew of crime-fiction authors during a high-energy drinking session, Dream Girl shimmers with suspense, surprises, wry humor, and an ever-present stream of appreciations for the pleasures, frustrations, and oddities inherent in the life of a writer."
— Boston Globe
"A nicely shivery homage to Stephen King’s Misery with an atmosphere all its own."
— Seattle Times
“My dream novel. I devoured this in three days. The sharpest, clearest-eyed take on our #MeToo reckoning yet. Plus: enthralling."
— Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and The Fever
“Dream Girl the ideal cutting-edge, socially-conscious entertainment for late summer. . . . Packed with social criticism, satire, ghosts and narrative turns of the screw, Lippman's Dream Girl is indeed a dream of a novel.”
— Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
“High tension fuels Dream Girl while vividly illustrating the humiliation of being confined to a bed, having every bodily need tended by another... Edgar winner Lippman, who has won every mystery award, envelops witty dialogue, a complicated character and a complex plot in Dream Girl.”
— The Sun-Sentinel
"Perceptive, often amusing insights into a writer’s mind make this a standout. Lippman is in top form for this enticingly witty, multilayered guessing game."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Lippman never stops twisting the plot into a deliciously intricate pretzel, right up to the jaw-dropping finale. This is both a beguiling look at the mysteries of authorship and a powerful #MeToo novel, but that's only the tip of a devilishly jagged iceberg..."
— Booklist (starred review)
"Lippman (Lady in the Lake) nods at Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock in this hair-raising tale, but makes it wholly hers and completely riveting. She conveys the horror of being housebound and reliant on strangers, as well as the fear of losing one’s mind. It’s a page-turning, plot-twisting masterpiece."
— Library Journal (starred review)