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All That Is Mine I Carry With Me Bets On...

All That Is Mine I Carry With Me

March 2023

I remember reading DEFENDING JACOB in 2012 and being blown away by its ending. So when I saw that William Landay had a new book coming out, I was excited. Clearly our readers were as well; in a recent poll, ALL THAT IS MINE I CARRY WITH ME was the March fiction title that they most wanted to read. I really enjoyed it.

This time, Landay is publishing in a very different landscape. While I would classify DEFENDING JACOB as a legal thriller, I see ALL THAT IS MINE I CARRY WITH ME as a crime novel. We are living in a time when true crime stories are all over the media landscape. As I was reading this one, the Murdaugh trial was going on, and I kept thinking about how much can be hidden.

In November 1975, Jane Larkin disappears. Her daughter, Miranda, comes home from school that day. Jane’s handbag is still there, and there is no indication of a struggle or any reason that she would be gone. But she is. In the ensuing days, the lack of evidence keeps the case from being solved. Of course, her husband, Dan, is the likely suspect. It’s always the husband, right? But nothing turns up as evidence. It seems that she has just vanished. Miranda and her brothers, Jeff and Alex, pick up the pieces of their lives and move on as best they can. Miranda, the youngest, longs for a mom and a family. She embraces a neighborhood family and babysits for them, and readers can see that she wants a maternal figure in her life. That part is just heartbreaking.

Flash forward two decades, and Jane’s body is found. The investigator who was on this case from the start comes back into the picture. For him, this is the case that nags at him during the night. There is not a criminal trial, but there is an option to sue Dan for wrongful death. The siblings are split on this issue, which leads to more tension.

The book is divided into four parts. As you read, pay close attention to each of them as the structure and the use of punctuation change. It worked for me, and I hope it does for you. And, oh yes, again Landay has mastered the ending. For book groups there is a lot to think about here. When I interviewed Bill, I chided him not to wait another decade to deliver a book to us. I hope he listens!

All That Is Mine I Carry With Me
by William Landay