Grand Central Publishing: 7/14/20
review copy; 368 pages
Never Ask Me by Jeff Abbott is a highly recommended domestic thriller.
The quiet, wealthy Austin suburb of Lakehaven is shaken when
Danielle Roberts is found murdered, her body left on a park bench.
Danielle was an adoption
consultant who had helped a number of community members adopt a
child. Iris and Kyle Pollitt and their
teenage children, Julia and Grant, live just two houses down from
Danielle and are shocked. Danielle helped them adopt Grant from a St.
Petersburg orphanage when he was a
baby. Danielle's son, Ned, and Julia are good friends and they are
the ones who found Danielle's body. At the same time, Grant is
contacted through email and someone appears to be watching him while
telling him he has been told a lie.
After a strong start with Danielle's murder, finding the body, the
Pollitt family's reaction, and Grant's anonymous contact, the novel
slows down to a leisurely pace until the last third. Then, that last
portion of the plot takes a weird twist that will grab your attention,
but it will also leave you saying "what the heck?" The narrative unfolds
through the point-of-view of the members of the Pollitt family along
with excerpts from the adoption journal Iris kept when they were working
with Danielle trying to adopt Grant. There are a whole lot of secrets
everyone is keeping from everyone else. The characters are
well-developed, although with all the secrets
everyone is hiding it does take a while to establish exactly who these
people are and what they are hiding from each other as well as others.
The weirdly-twisted ending makes Never Ask Me suddenly very
tense, action packed, and exciting and it does provide closure to the
various plot threads and secrets everyone has been keeping from each
other. Everything is in some way tied back to Iris's statement, "Never
ask me what
I'd do to protect my family." 3.5 rounded up.
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