Monday, May 13, 2024

Don't Ask, Don't Follow

Don't Ask, Don't Follow by Mary Keliikoa
6/4/24; 320 pages
Oceanview Publishing

Don't Ask, Don't Follow by Mary Keliikoa is a highly recommended suspense novel set in Portland, Oregon, that seeks to solve a murder and find a missing person.

Beth Ralston, a paralegal at her father's law firm, has had enough mingling at the office party so she heads back upstairs to her office to rack up more billable hours. She finds Craig Bartell, her boss, has been murdered and she sees a woman who appears to be her sister Lindsay,  fleeing the scene. Beth is unable to catch her sister and, while she waits for the police, she discovers Lindsay left her phone in Beth's bag. The phone had an unsent message on it: "Don’t ask. Don’t follow."

Lindsay is an investigative reporter, so sometimes it is hard to reach her, but she never drops completely out of touch. In an attempt to find Lindsay, Beth begins to look into the material that Lindsay was investigating and trying to expose. It involves large scale corruption, secrets, and betrayal that may involve even her own family.

Beth is a determined, fully realized character who has a strong bond with her older sister that serves her well as she tries to find Lindsay. Since Don't Ask, Don't Follow is told through Beth's first person point-of-view, trusting and believing in her findings is important. 

The information Lindsay was chasing also involved Craig and makes her question not only the information Lindsay was collecting but also their parent's truthfulness.  It is clear as events unfold that someone is follow Beth and means her harm. The detective is also fast on the same trail and keeps encountering Beth while he investigates. 

The plot does seem to slow down in the middle after it initially takes off at a quick pace. There are also a few plot points that require a suspension of disbelief, especially toward the end. The journey to the final denouement is interesting, full of action, and will hold your complete attention. Thanks to Oceanview Publishing for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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