Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Keep Quiet – Lisa Scottoline

Contemporary Fiction 2*'s
Contemporary Fiction
2*’s

The premise to this book is really interesting, Jake lets his sixteen year old son drive the car home as part of an attempt to bond with him and during momentary lapse of concentration Ryan hits what they think is a deer, closer inspection reveals the victim to be a teenage girl. In the heat of the moment Jake decides that as his son was driving after 11:00pm that he would take the blame, he doesn’t want Ryan’s promising scholarship at Basketball college ruined by a criminal record but then Ryan falls apart and Jake decides the best course of action is to continue the journey home and leave the dead girl by the side of the road. I like books where there is the possibility of asking ‘What would I do?’ and the first section was a realistic scenario to allow me to do so.

Unfortunately Lisa Scottoline has a tendency to over-egg the situation, there were endless paragraphs where both Ryan and Jake ruminated over what had happened in fairly banal language which didn’t appear to reflect any true emotion partly due to the style of the writing. I’m not a fan of endless dialogue in books partly because unless carefully handled there is strong likelihood that it will sound false and in Keep Quiet none of what I read reflected any conversation that I’ve heard between a father and his son:

On the way home, Jake had laid down the law to his son.
Ryan, don’t tell Mom. Never, ever.
Dad, I never would. Are you insane?
I mean it. No matter what. You know what she’d do. She’d have to.
Dad, I swear, I won’t tell. Mom. I won’t tell anybody.

The reason why Ryan couldn’t tell his mother, Pam was because she’s a judge and a top-ranking one at that so not only had the accident killed a girl, would ruin Ryan’s life with a potential prison sentence it also would kill Pam’s career, like the author, I’m just making sure you’re keeping up. It soon becomes apparent that Pam and Jake were already locked into a who’s the better parent competition even before the accident, with Pam taking the lead position of course, and this intensifies as Jake lies appallingly and Ryan goes rapidly off the rails as the news of the girl’s death is absorbed by the community.

As a moral tale of the old adage ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive’ as predictably more lies are required to cover the first one until it looks like there is no hiding place for the family and Lisa Scottoline provides many twists and turns before arriving at her rather unrealistic finale.

Lisa Scottoline’s books have been likened to Jodi Picoult’s and I can see the basic similarities are there in that this is an issue led book with a moral dilemma at its heart but Keep Quiet doesn’t have that level of sophistication caused mainly by the endless reinforcement of points the author doesn’t want the reader to miss, a technique that I frankly find annoying, I like authors who trust their readers to make up their own minds, especially about their characters which in this case lacked any real substance.

I’d like to thank Amazon Vine for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for this honest review. Keep Quiet is due to be published on 20 November 2014.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (October 29)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline which is proving to be a thought-provoking read.

Keep Quiet

Blurb

One decision. One family’s future in ruins.
When Jake Buckman decides to let Ryan, his sixteen-year-old son practice driving home along a deserted street, he has no idea of the deadly consequences.
But in the darkness of night, a runner comes from nowhere and the hit is fatal.
Now Jake and Ryan have two options: admit Ryan’s responsibility … or drive home as though nothing happened. What follows is not a clear-cut hit and run, but a split-second decision by a father who will do anything to protect his son.
How much should a parent sacrifice for their child?
And could any family survive the burden of such a terrible secret? Amazon

I have just finished The Night Hunter by Caro Ramsay which is part of the Anderson and Costello series set in Glasgow, however this one has a main protagonist of Elvira, a girl whose sister Sophie has been missing for 57 days. Elvira is desperate to find out what happened to her and to other girls who disappeared in similar circumstances.

Click on the (scary) book cover to read my review

The Night Hunter

Next I am going to have a total change of pace and read Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Hello from the Gillispies

Blurb

Angela finally started the letter, summoning her usual cheery tone. Then she stopped.
Her friend Joan’s voice suddenly came to her mind, as if she was standing there beside her.
‘Go for it, love! Let it rip! Tell the truth! It’s good for you.’
She actually laughed out loud. Tell the truth? How could she?
Angela stared at the screen for a long moment. Then she started a new letter, typing faster than she’d ever typed before…

Angela Gillespie has been pretending that her family is perfect for the last 30 years. And she is tired of it. This year she needs to tell it how it is.
Angela’s husband is in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Her grown-up daughters are more out of control than ever. And her youngest child spends all of his time talking to an imaginary friend. With fantasy thoughts of a life before marriage and motherhood becoming more than just an innocent daydream, Angela’s real life is slowly slipping out of focus. But, as the repercussions of her too truthful Christmas letter keep coming, perhaps she should have been careful what she wished for. . . NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (October 28)

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottaline

Keep Quiet

Blurb

An emotionally gripping and complex story about one man’s split-second decision to protect his son – and the devastating consequences that follow.Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater.  On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all. Powerful and dramatic, Keep Quiet will have readers and book clubs debating what it means to be a parent and how far you can, and should, go to protect those you love. Goodreads

My Teaser

“Yes and it’s all up-to-the-minute technology, those guys are something else. They come back and upload the data and into the computer and they can completely rebuild the accident. They can tell you exactly how it happened.”
Jake texted back, I’m completely fine, don’t worry. Go to the gym if you want to . Don’t wait for me.

What do you think?

Please leave the link to your teasers in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (October 3)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

I’m not even going to try to explain the additions to my TBR this week….

First up from NetGalley I’m thrilled to have a copy of A Twist of the Knife a collection of short stories by Peter James

A Twist of the Knife

Blurb

With each twist of the knife, a chilling new journey begins . . .
From a woman intent on bizarre revenge, to a restaurant critic with a morbid fear of the number thirteen; and from a man arranging a life-changing assignation, to a couple heading for a disaster-filled vacation . . .
In multi-million-copy bestselling author Peter James’ collection of short stories we first come to meet Brighton’s finest detective, Roy Grace, and read the tale that went on to inspire James’ hugely successful novel, Dead Simple. James exposes the Achilles heel of each of his characters, and makes us question how well we can trust ourselves, and one another. Each tale carries a twist that will haunt readers for days after they turn the final page . . .
Combining every twisted tale from the ebook bestsellers Short Shockers One and Short Shockers Two, with a never-seen-before collection of new material, A Twist of the Knife shows Peter James as the undisputed grand master of storytellers with this sometimes funny, often haunting, but always shocking collection. Amazon

I am also lucky enough to have a copy of The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber

The Cold Cold Sea

Blurb

‘They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose from her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and dialled 999.’
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life.
Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a niggling worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain.
Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No-one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no-one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family. NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottaline

Keep Quiet

Blurb

After picking up his sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, from the cinema one evening, Jake Buckman decides to let him practice driving home along a seemingly quiet street. It is a decision that will alter the lives of their family for ever, as Ryan hits a jogger, who does not survive.
What follows is not a clear-cut hit and run, but a split-second decision by a father who will do anything to protect his son. But just how much can a parent sacrifice to protect their own child? And how will Ryan cope with the consequences of his actions? Amazon

Finally, through the post I got a copy of The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel which I just couldn’t resist after the enjoying The Dark Meadow.
The Murder Farm

Blurb

A whole family has been murdered with a pickaxe. They were old Danner the farmer, an overbearing patriarch, his put-upon devoutly religious wife, and their daughter Barbara Spangler, whose husband Vincenz left her after fathering her daughter, Marianne. Also murdered was the Danners’ new maidservant, Marie, who was regarded as slightly simple. Despite the brutal nature of the killings and the small village where it has taken place, the police have no leads. Officially the crime is unsolved. And then a former resident returns home… The Murder Farm is an unconventional detective story. The author interweaves testament from the villagers, an oblique view of the murderer, occasional third-person narrative pieces and passages of pious devotion. The narrator leaves the village unaware of the truth, only the reader is able to reach the shattering conclusion. Amazon

Please share your finds in the comments below.