Natalie Rubin, middle-class Jewish wife and mother, has vanished. Worse, she has taken her three children - nine year old Isaac and boy/girl twins of five - with her. Her husband Mark is devastated. He loves her, he thought she was happy. He approaches Tess to trace her. At first Tess is wary. She doesn't like getting involved in domestic disputes, and Mark's love for his wife seems to contain a strong desire to control her. Did he drive her away? Did he perhaps kill her? But as Tess pursues her quest for Natalie, she discovers a woman whose past were better kept hidden, a man whose values will challenge her own, and a family that knows how to button up its secrets ...A SPIDER'S THREAD is part tense thriller, part all-too-human drama about what families do to each other It confirms Laura Lippman as a storyteller of rare intelligence, insight and power.