Crime fiction: Laura Lippman’s protagonist is a compelling, egotistical nightmare

Dream Girl is the thriller of the season; while Joseph Knox’s True Crime Story is ingenious

Laura Lippman. Photograph: Jan Cobb

Laura Lippman. Photograph: Jan Cobb

Confined to his fancy new two-storey apartment (he will never call it a penthouse, never), flat on his back, a bilateral quad tear in his braced, immobilised right leg, attended to by a plump, cheerfully philistine nurse (the Misery references do not escape him), novelist Gerry Andersen is having a long dark Baltimore winter of the soul: what he has done and what he has failed to do. 

Especially when it comes to women: the three wives (he drew the line at three; a fourth and he’d be Mickey Rooney), the women he betrayed them with, and more. Gerry insists there’s no more, or if there was it was only the once, and even then it was no big deal, he was the put-upon one, not the victim.

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