ABOUT THE BOOK:
Noah Alderman, a doctor and a widower, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he and his son are happy. But their lives are turned upside down when Maggie’s daughter Anna moves in with them. Anna is a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble that is brewing. Events take a deadly turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused of the crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her only daughter, but the realization that her daughter's murder was at the hands of a husband she loves. New information sends Maggie searching for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.
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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is a 2018 St. Martin’s Press publication.
Riveting courtroom drama, taut suspense, and emotional family drama-
When Maggie’s estranged seventeen- year old daughter, Anna, calls out of the blue, hoping to reconnect, Maggie is over the moon. As it turns out, Anna’s father has died, making Anna a very wealthy young woman, but she is utterly alone in the world. Maggie, of course, immediately invites Anna to move in with her and her new husband, Noah, and his son. Maggie would finally have the complete family she had always longed for.
But, things go awry almost immediately when Anna and Noah clash, exposing large cracks in the veneer of Maggies's perfect family. But, as tense as things have become between Maggie and Noah, as strained as their marriage has become, Maggie never could have imagined a day when her husband would stand trial for the murder of her only child. Did Noah cross a line with Anna? Did he murder her?
Lisa Scottoline is usually pretty solid, and I enjoy most of her books. But, I really found myself caught up on this one, more so than usual, probably because of the courtroom drama. I haven’t read any clever courtoom scenes, like this one, in so long I felt like I’d found an oasis in a desert. The trial was absolutely fantastic!!
The family drama is interwoven within all the legalese, as Noah recalls the events that led up to his arrest for Anna’s murder.
Although, it didn’t take long for me to figure out what was going on, at least to some extent, I still suspected anyone and everyone along the way of being complicit or involved in some way, which of course, is exactly the way I like it. However, the story almost careened too far off course, in the second half, putting all that carefully crafted momentum at risk. I had to suspend belief a little more than I would like to, but, at the end of the day, I think things evened out enough to give the book a strong finish.
The suspense is taut, not just from a criminal aspect, but from an emotional one, as well.
Relationships are always complex, and this book explores the ways a seemingly perfect marriage and family has vulnerabilities, and be hacked into just like with technology. One has to be on guard at all times for potential malware. Personality traits and certain tendencies can work for us or against us when we are thrown into bizarre, unimaginable circumstances.
Once everything was said and done, I think a few of these characters were much stronger after having faced this type of adversity. Prioritizing what is really important in life is something we can all strive for, but hopefully we won’t have to face such catastrophic challenges before we see the need to keep things in perspective.
Although the story has a few weak spots one will have to overlook, because the legal aspects were so strong, because I cared about the characters, and because I loved the ending, and the message I gained from this story, I feel this is a strong and entertaining effort from LS.
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