After Anna

After Anna

by Lisa Scottoline

Overview: Noah Alderman, widower and single father, 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 moves in with them. Anna is a drop-dead gorgeous sixteen-year-old with a secret dark side. Unbeknownst to everyone, Anna is not simply a selfish beauty, but a dangerously disturbed sociopath. Anna sets out to systematically destroy the new life Noah has built, and when she turns up dead, Noah is at the top of the suspect list. Noah begins his own investigation in order to clear his name and save his family, and what he discovers is darker than he could have ever imagined.

Carole Zwicker (12/14/18) Although the author writes strong legal series, this standalone novel captures your attention from the beginning. Maggie and Noah have married, each for the second time. All appears well until Anna enters the picture. She is Maggie's teenage daughter, who was taken from her in infancy, by Maggie's then-husband who had her declared an unfit parent. When Anna's father dies suddenly, Maggie and Anna are reunited after years of estrangement. So far, so good. The rest you will need to read on your own. To tell you more would be a spoiler. This is a fast-paced, suspenseful novel that does not let up. Each chapter is headed either by Maggie or Noah, before or after Anna. This is a very effective style of writing because it sheds light on both sides of the story. Read this book and you will be astounded. Predictable it is not.
Rating: *****

Deanna Boe (09/03/18) What can I say? If you like Scottoline’s writing, then you will probably like this, and simply feel it wasn’t one of her best. If you have been on the borderline about her writing, don’t bother with this one since I am sure you won’t like it.

I know I have mentioned this before. Why have author’s become so enthralled with writing novels that jump back and forth. This one starts with “the trial.” The next chapter goes to “Maggie, Before.” This is then followed by “Noah, After – Trial, Day 9.” The next couple of chapters are “Maggie, Before.” Then we have “Noah, After – Trial Day 6!” This jumps back and forth like this until all of a sudden we are on “Trail Day 4.” Well, you get the idea. Not only does all this jumping back and forth become confusing, it isn’t helped by the actual plot line.

Maggie had a baby with her first husband. She then had a mental breakdown and her husband was awarded the child, Anna. Maggie and her husband are divorced and he disappears overseas with Anna. He has come up with some new invention that makes him an instant millionaire. He really doesn’t want Anna, so he puts her in live-in schools and from there basically ignores her. Maggie eventually marries Noah, a really wonderful man, who has a son with a strange speech impediment. Maggie all of a sudden hears from Anna who is now going to a private school in the U.S.; Anna wants to come live with her. Immediately Maggie goes and gets her, she is released to her with few questions from the school. Amazingly enough, Anna’s father, who has his own private airplane, is killed flying himself and his new family. Anna is now a multi-millionaire. Well, I won’t tell you any more of this weird plot for those of you who are dedicated followers of Scottoline, but just let me say it isn’t one of her finest. One good thing, you can read it quickly.
Rating: *

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