Wanted to like it more than I did

Don't Go - Lisa Scottoline

Opening Line: “Chloe woke up on the floor, her thoughts foggy.”

 

This was pretty good, but I wanted to like it a whole lot more than I actually did. The story premise had me excited and the cover is great but the execution was just all over the place, with too many story ideas all thrown together so that ultimately none of them really work. I’ve also yet to figure out what this book was trying to be; a murder mystery, a child custody story, a military memoir, a PTSD recovery, a legal thriller? It’s all of these things.

 

And while I’m also new to author Lisa Scottoline I’d still been expecting more, or maybe just a more polished story from a “bestselling” author. As it was this felt like a first book, with immature writing and stilted, repetitive, painful dialogue that I struggled to get through without rolling my eyes. There are also several obviously placed red herrings throughout and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually read mysteries, but I was often like, yeah that’s probably a bad idea. 

That’s not to say this was entirely terrible, mostly just disappointing because it had so much promise and so many good ideas.

Don’t Go starts with our main characters wife dying on her kitchen from a knife wound, (this is not a spoiler) someone comes to the door but instead of helping they leave. We then switch over to our main character Dr. Mike Scanlon, who is a serving as an army doctor in Afghanistan. I really enjoyed the army sections of this book (which take up a large section) they’re obviously been well researched and you get a real feel for the living conditions, the surgeries, the comradely with the other doctors and the hardships and horror. 

So while Mike is operating on a wounded soldier his wife dies and within 24hrs he finds himself back in America trying to figure out what happened and how exactly he is going to care for a baby who was only a month old when he deployed and now doesn’t know him and screams at the very sight of him. He also discovers that the medical practice he took leave from is in jeopardy and that his wife was not only a closeted alcoholic but having an affair…

So what does Mike do? He signs some papers that give his sister-in-law and her husband temporary guardianship of his daughter and goes back to finish his tour in Afghanistan. This part lost me a bit; I mean wouldn’t the military have granted him some kind of compassionate leave?? Anyways I can’t say much else without getting heavily into spoiler territory but some bad stuff happens to Mike and the second half of the book is spent with him solving his wife’s death/murder, making bad decisions and trying to piece his life back together because nothing was as it seemed.

Definitely an emotional, compelling read with more military issues that I expected, well there was more everything than I expected LOL. I did like the character of Dr. Mike even if he was a bit stupid in his actions. Can’t say that I would actively seek out anything else from this author though. Cheers.