Oline Cogdill

lippmanlaura_everysecretthing.jppSo often mystery fiction examines the loss of innocence and the search for justice.

But in Every Secret Thing, Laura Lippman illustrated what happens when the criminals are children and what happens to children when they grow up.

Every Secret Thing, published in 2003, was Lippman’s first stand-alone novel. It was the story of two 11-year-old girls convicted of murdering a baby. They are incarcerated until they turn 18. But when they are released, other children start to go missing.

In my review that ran in the Sun Sentinel and various other newspapers, I said Every Secret Thing was “full of social relevance with wry comments on contemporary society, a plot that doesn’t let go of the reader and excellent character studies of a myriad cast.”

Also quoting my review: “The author doesn’t follow a predictable path as she slowly and methodically pulls back the curtain on that hot July afternoon when everything went wrong. Lippman intriguingly shows how that seven-year-old crime defines each character and colors how each reacts to others as well as to herself. Lippman gives a total view of each character, playing up not only each’s good points but also each’s faults. No one is totally sympathetic, nor is anyone a complete monster.”

Lippman's other stand-alone novels include Life Sentences, the short story collection Hardly Knew Her, and I'dKnowYou Anywhere.

Every Secret Thing will now become a movie starring Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks. Lane will play the mother of one of the girls.

Shooting will start in February with Amy Berg directing from a script by Nicole Holofcenter. Producers include Anthony Bregman and Frances McDormand.

"It's a privilege to watch talented, passionate people shepherd this project along,” Laura Lippman told us in an email. “I'm just on the sidelines, but I'm a very happy cheerleader.”

With that team and Lippman’s excellent source material, I have high hopes that the movie will do justice to the novel.

Meanwhile, read the novel. Savor the story.