Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review: Keep Quiet - Highly Recommend

While the last Lisa Scottoline book I read wasn't necessarily a big hit with me, this one certainly was. Keep Quiet was the best Scottoline thriller I've read yet! The book was captivating from the very first sentence. The premise hooked the reader. Moreover, if you are a parent of a driving teenager, you cannot help but put yourself in the shoes of the dad in this story. Scottoline nailed this one and I have been raving about it to anyone who will listen (I've already persuaded my sister, mother, and Bryce's girlfriend - a reluctant reader - to give it a try)!

Jake Buckman hopes that by picking his son, Ryan, up from the movies, he will be able to spend some quality time in the car working on their struggling relationship. The sixteen year old begs to drive the last bit home, on a deserted road, and even though Jake knows that it violates his son's learner's permit restrictions, he agrees anyway. That decision propels the two of them into a nightmare of unbelievable proportions when Ryan looks away for a moment on a blind curve and hits something in the road. The next split-second decision seals their fate and binds them together in a horrifying secret that threatens to implode the entire family, including the life of Jake's wife, Pam, an upstanding judge.

Scottoline is a master at plotting. She increases the emotional tension in the book by steady increments, throwing barb after barb into the pot of trouble. What results is a roller-coaster ride of emotional resonance and an inability to put the book down. Although I listened to the book in audio form, I felt a strong desire to check out the hard copy of the book as well, so that I could analyze exactly how well the plot was executed. If I had been simply reading the hard copy, I have no doubt that I would have completed the book in one or two sittings. It is just that riveting.

Scottoline also wowed me with her outstanding skill for providing not only entrancing first lines for each chapter but also alluring concluding lines. Every chapter began with a bang and ended on a note of pure enticement. I could only hope to emulate that fine skill in my own writing. Each chapter propels the story along in a steady stream of character and plot development.

While I did figure out the ending in advance, it was still enjoyable getting to the point of revelation. Scottoline expertly played a game of cat and mouse throughout the entire book. Just as the reader catches up to the clues, new clues are laid down to alter the understanding of what is fully going on. I almost want to go back through the book and outline the plot progression because the book is such an excellent example of a well-plotted story.

Even if you aren't a big fan of thrillers, this book will grab you by the throat and refuse to let you go. Your heart will ache for the characters in the story. Moreover, you will be torn between a desire for justice and mercy. And if you are a parent, well ... the story will resonate with your obvious longings to protect your child.

I was surprised to see one star reviews on Amazon. Apparently, there are readers who felt the characters and their actions were unbelievable. Just goes to show you that every individual approaches a book with personal preferences and expectations. I still highly recommend the book, but thought I should mention that it did garner some negative reviews on Amazon. You be the judge - I doubt you'll be disappointed if you pick up this book (even if you agree with those naysayers that the characters behave in unbelievable ways).

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