Lisa Scottoline has delivered taut thrillers with a powerful emotional wallop in her New York Times best-sellers Save Me, Think Twice, and Look Again. Now, with her new novel, Come Home, she ratchets up the suspense with the riveting story of a mother who sacrifices her future for a child from her past.
Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her - though it is stressful - and her daughter, Megan, is a happily overscheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team. But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hardearned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.Come Home reads with the breakneck pacing of a thriller while also exploring the definition of motherhood, asking the questions: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an exchild? What are the limits to love of family?
©2012 Lisa Scottoline (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I am a Lisa Scottoline fan. Unfortunately, I won't finish this particular book. The production is just awful. Whining, crying at full volume (we listen with earbuds, producers!), and really poor voicing of the characters made me give up about 10 chapters in. Maybe I'll pick it up and read it some day. Can't get through this.
the Gadget Queen
I usually know what to expect from Lisa Scottoline's books: Smart woman does stupid things, but lives to tell the tale. They drive me crazy at times, but her stories are usually a good way to get away from the real world for a while.
This one fits the "smart woman/stupid things" pattern, but it adds a layer of domestic drama that wastes an inordinate amount of time. And the central character is just so irritating that I found myself talking back to the book.I should have turned off after the first half hour, but made it halfway through before deciding that it wasn't worth listening to all the dreck to solve the mystery.
Imagine that your long-lost stepdaughter shows up at your door to tell you that her father's been killed. Wouldn't you ask what happened? When, where and how? Nope, we first have to listen to endless dialogue between the drunken, sobbing teenager and the saintly stepmother about how sorry each of them is about not having been in touch with the other.
Then the central character's biological daughter comes home, and there's more sobbing and teenage angst.
I disagree with those reviewers who disliked the narrator. She couldn't handle an Irish accent (or was it supposed to be Russian?), but I think she did a great job channeling the teenagers -- you could even hear the different intonation from the character who wears braces!
But the performance is irritating because the characters are irritating -- that's what whiney teenagers sound like! -- and there is way too much soap opera and not enough mystery.
The central character -- I called her Jill the Pill -- appears to be a good doctor, and was probably a good stepmother. But she lacks common sense and perspective -- hey, let's run down the middle of a highway to chase an SUV! -- and she's way too self-righteous.
Can't believe I'm expending this much time and effort to review such a waste of time, but I wouldn't want other readers who have enjoyed Lisa Scottoline's books in the past to be sucked in by this one.
The first 5-6 chapters of this book is non-stop crying, wailing and screeching. Like the previous reviewer, for me it was nearly intolerable. Whatever happens during this sobfest could be handled easily in one or two chapters max.
Other than the narration, the story was actually pretty good, even though I did not find the main character's controlling behavior relatable or likable at all. I guess there's a reason for all the step-children, ex-step-children, present bio child but the confusion muddied the waters for me. But then, if there weren't all these conflicting previous children of previous spouses, and all the micro-managing behavior, there would be no story.
I actually liked the main character's husband and took his side in all the arguments.
As others have noted the narration of this book was too much and it ruined the story for me. After the first 10 minutes I realized it was a mistake and should have purchased a print or electronic copy (or borrowed it from the library). Thought I would take a shortcut using an Audible Book to listen to Lisa Scottoline's latest but it was ruined by the narration/direction. The whining, wailing and screaming as other reviewers noted was way over the top. Too bad. I stuck it out but the narration was still annoying throughout.
Used another narrator or director or provided different direction on how the book should have been read.
It is one thing for a narrator to emphasize the words, or to slightly change voices to reflect characters but the use of loud whining, crying, screeching, wailing and over-dramatizing the first part only annoyed me. Save that for the screen..
Not based on this performance.
If you can borrow this one from the library in audio.
good story. The narration of the kids voices was so irritating I had to literally take the ear buds out of my ears so as not to hear.
Probably wouldn't recommend to a friend. I finished it, but I was annoyed by the lazy writing.
Meh. It was ok. Everything got resolved about as you'd expect.
She had a good voice for the part.
I can't stand the whining. I taught my kid not to whine from a very early age - I sure didn't want to pay to hear some other kid whine. I love all of the author's legal thrillers. They are well written and full of humor. I also love her two books of short articles. But I couldn't stand this book and I gave it up after a couple of hours (which I almost never do). If the kids have to cry in that book, mentioning it will suffice. I don't want to hear it.
I have always enjoyed Lisa Scottoline's books before. This book would be a disappointment for any fans of hers.
The characters were unsympathetic. The narration was overly dramatic and some of the characters appeared to be constantly whining. It was very difficult to care for the characters or the storyline. All of the characters were very unrealistic.
I would listen to the sample of her narration before purchasing another book.
The youngest daughter.
I will continue to watch for this author but will probably rely on reviews before making another purchase.
I am a full time student. I love to read but have no time to read for fun; audible is the perfect solution to that.
I am half way through the book and I'm wondering where the suspense in supposed to be. I feel like I have to finish it because I just spend 6 hours on it..
I agree with the other reviewers that the crying/screeching at the beginning was very annoying. I don't like this narrator at all.
Also, there seems to be something wrong with this audio book..the end of chapter 31 seems to be missing
I would not recommend this book to anyone.
I usually enjoy Scottoline's stories but had this been the first one that I had read, I would never read another. Perhaps the book would have been tolerable had Maggi-Meg
Reed not been the narrator. She failed to bring life to the characters. In fact, her whiny, and often overly dramatice oral interpretation eliminated all possibility of sympathy and belief. I doubt that I would purchase any other stories that she might read.
The plot was trite, the characters insipid, and completely unbelievable. Her other books may have tested credulity but this one was ridiculous and not up to her standards.
I seldom talk back to books but this one was an exception.The protagonist, a supposedly intelligent woman, failed to engage my sympathy. Even for fiction, her behavior and thought process suggested a self-centered, self-involved fool who had no sense of consequences for her actions. I found myself muttering "how can you be so stupid? what else did you expect? you must be kidding." Please Ms. Scottoline, don't torture your readers with books that fall far below your usual standards.
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