Book Review: Don’t Go – Lisa Scottoline
I recently finished reading Lisa Scottoline’s new book, Don’t Go, available April 9. Below is my review of the novel, and in the coming weeks I’ll be posting an interview I conducted with the author about this book and her career.
Not only is Don’t Go Scottoline’s 20th novel, but it’s the first time she’s writing from the point of view of a man. Up to this point, I had only read one other book by the author, Come Home, and it was pretty good. I never read a novel focused on a member of the military, and it wasn’t something that interested me. But I kept an open mind going into this book. To my delight, I quickly fell in love with Don’t Go and was fully engrossed in the plot from start to finish.
Many of Scottoline’s recent books have focused on relationships between family members, and it’s something at which she excels. What really struck me was her effortless ability to construct magnificently descriptive prose that spoke to me. It not only carried me through the story, but it made me feel what the characters felt. Unlike some of her contemporaries, Scottoline’s writing comes off like she does in real life: Genuine.
As you’ll see in the synopsis below, this novel focuses on the tumultuous life of Dr. Mike Scanlon. His wife dies while he’s serving as an army doctor in Afghanistan, and he’s forced to pick up the pieces when he gets home. He not only has to come to terms with his wife’s passing, he has to learn how to be a father to his daughter, who barely remembers him. It’s an emotionally-charged tale that’s peppered with Scottoline’s signature humor. And it’s filled with unpredictable twists and turns that kept me flipping through pages late into the night.
Don’t Go was an excellent read, and I highly recommend it. It’s a compelling thriller filled with nuanced characters you can’t help but care about. Most of all, I loved how this novel had a theme weaved throughout. In addition to being the title of the book, the phrase “don’t go” is something Mike Scanlon hears and ponders during his journey. It’s a beautifully executed storytelling device that makes the title feel inspired and the plot cohesive. So far, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Be sure to add it to your list to check out, and look out for my upcoming post where I interview Lisa Scottoline about Don’t Go as well as her storied career.
Lisa has thrilled millions with her emotionally-charged novels that feature strong women exploring the boundaries of family, justice, and love. In Don’t Go, she breaks new ground and delivers the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero.
When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.
However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left — his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.
Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the homefront and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family. Gripping, thrilling, and profoundly emotional, Don’t Go is Lisa Scottoline at her finest.