Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Staff Picks – Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline

I just finished the latest thriller by Lisa Scottoline (pronounced like fettuccine, she’s Italian) and I am doing my usual “you have to read this” to everyone I know.

Don’t Go (M) is the story of Dr. Mike Scanlon who is called to serve in Afghanistan as a military doctor. While he is away his wife Chloe and baby daughter Emily are left behind to cope on their own. With only a short time left in Afghanistan, Mike gets word that his wife has died in an apparently bizarre household accident. He returns to deal with her funeral arrangements and come to terms with everything that has changed while he’s been away. His baby daughter is being cared for by her aunt and uncle and Emily no longer recognizes him. His wife’s death leaves him with a lot of unanswered questions including a new drinking problem and questions of fidelity. The medical practice he left behind has also undergone major changes. As the story unfolds Mike Scanlon returns to Afghanistan but when he finally returns home permanently his life is changed forever by events in the war zone. He worries about rebuilding his relationship with his daughter, trying to cope with his changed life and career, and most of all he resolving unanswered questions about Chloe’s death.

Like any good thriller I was on an up and down ride thinking all along that I knew what was coming next. I didn’t of course and it was a great thrill to be surprised and led down the garden path a few times.

I’ve been a fan of Scottoline’s since her early days as a writer of mostly legal thrillers. Among her other recent titles are Come Home (M) and Save Me (M).  Both feature ordinary families caught in apparently ordinary situations. Nothing of course is ever quite as it seems.

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