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Save Me Hardcover – April 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of this gut-wrenching stand-alone from bestseller Scottoline (Think Twice), an explosion rips through the nearly empty cafeteria of Reesburgh (Pa.) Elementary School. Lunch mother Rose McKenna leads two girls to safety before racing to rescue her own daughter, Melly, but Rose soon learns that she may face both civil and criminal charges for her heroics because one of the girls she saved was seriously injured in the resulting fire that killed three school staff members. The tension rises as the united front presented by Rose and her lawyer husband, Leo Ingrassia, begins to disintegrate in the face of media demands, legal maneuverings, and social pressures. Rose must also deal with school bullying (Melly has a noticeable facial blemish), difficult legal problems, and her husband's reaction when a secret from her past is revealed. Scottoline melds it all into a satisfying nail-biting thriller sure to please her growing audience. 400,000 first printing; author tour. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Suburban mom [Rose McKenna] is forced to make a split-second decision after an explosion goes off in the school cafeteria in which she volunteers. Should she rescue her own daughter, Melly, trapped in the bathroom, or lead the girls standing in front of her, who constantly bully her daughter, to safety? Her choice reverberates throughout the little town of Reesburgh, Pennsylvania, as she is cast as the villain by the local news anchor, parents, and the school. While her attorney and husband construct a defense plan that includes filing a lawsuit against the school, [Rose] sets out to seek the truth behind this mysterious, accidental fire. With the help of a construction worker who may know the cause of the explosion as well as an incognito visit to a local factory, [Rose] slowly unravels the truth and along with it some hidden secrets in Reesburgh's dark past, including one horrifying buried memory of her own. At the quick pace of a thriller, Scottoline masterfully fits every detail into a tight plot chock-full of real characters, real issues, and real thrills. A story anchored by the impenetrable power of a mother's love, it begs the question, just how far would you go to save your child? --Annie McCormick

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1ST edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312380786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312380786
  • ASIN: 031238078X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels including her most recent, THINK TWICE, and also writes a weekly column, called Chick Wit, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has won many honors and awards, notably the Edgar Award, given for excellence in crime fiction, and the Fun Fearless Female Award from Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also teaches a course she created, called Justice and Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and regularly does speaking engagements. There are twenty-five million copies of her books in print, and she is published in over thirty other countries.Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her array of disobedient pets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 122 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lisa Scottoline's "Save Me" is a domestic drama about a stay-at-home mom, Rose McKenna, who has a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Melly, from her first marriage, and a baby boy, John, from her second. Rose is unhappy about the teasing that Melly endures because of a prominent birthmark on her face. McKenna is determined to stop the bullying and, partly to keep an eye on her child, volunteers to be a "lunch mom" in school.

Unfortunately, a catastrophe in the cafeteria not only brings grief to innocent people but also makes Rose into a pariah. She is unfairly blamed for committing an unforgivable act, and must fend off pushy reporters and furious neighbors. Adding to her burdens is a painful secret from her past that she has never revealed to her husband, Leo.

The novel begins promisingly. Rose is sympathetic, compassionate, and a devoted wife and mother. She is infinitely patient and always seems to know how to make her kids happy. Scottoline points out that people who live in small communities may be close-knit and supportive. However, when tragedy strikes, they sometimes unjustly vent their anger on outsiders.

The characters in "Save Me" are thinly drawn, and the contrived and melodramatic story lacks nuance, realism, and substance. It is disappointing that, as the book progresses, Rose's activities become so outlandish. After uncovering a possible conspiracy, she drops her kids off with friends and starts behaving like Nancy Drew, sneaking around in disguise and pumping people for information. We have come to expect more from the talented Scottoline, who has written a number of compelling and suspenseful works of fiction.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By McKennaea on April 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have always loved Lisa Scottoline books. I picked this one up hardcover the moment I saw it. An overwhelming disappointment.
It starts out well, with an explosion in a school and a mother's choice. She makes the obvious but difficult compromise to save all of the children, and would have succeeded, but one child runs back into the building to retrieve an electronic toy and is badly injured. It's all downhill from there.
The plot is ridiculous and strains credibility. Although the husband and wife are supposed to be deeply in love with a good marriage, he seems very peripheral and uninvolved, except in his interactions with his stepdaughter. I got very bored reading about the adorable things baby John did, ad infinitum. Melly's birthmark was way overworked. The whole book was boring, and at the end, the main protagonists actions were stupid, as was the reaction to those actions, and everybody believed her story with no shred of proof. Well, except for the security guards actions toward another character, and why they would take her and tie her up at their first encounter is never explained. She tries to enter a company party, babbling about a murder that was written off years ago as an accident, and their reaction is to drag her off and tie her up? Were they in on this convoluted plot from the beginning. Did they call someone? The response was over the top and incriminating, which I guess is how the author had to tie up the loose ends of the slithery plot going nowhere.
Did Lisa Scottoline actually write this book? There were hints of her writing here and there, but I don't think she did.
Anyway, it was boring with a supremely unbelievable plot and this is my last Lisa Scottoline, at least to buy. Maybe she can redeem herself in another book, but I'm not going to pay for it.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Renee Wadler on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This seems to be my week to play the Grinch - After not commenting for months I have felt compelled to submit 2 negative reviews in one week. However, I must admit, "Save Me", makes the previous book I commented on seem a veritible prize winner.

"Save Me" is the most inane, childish, just plain boring book I have read in years. I forced myself to finish it - and even then I did some skipping. Does Scottoline really expect readers to be able to suspend disbelief to the point where they can accept a "Super Mom" who, figuratively, "leaps tall buildings" in one jump? The main character in this book does at least that.

She single-handedly overpowers a well over 6', 250 lb. (or more) Hit-Man,who is intent on killing her; she brings down Heads of large and respected corporations; and, the coup de gras, she brings down a US Senator and has him held for Murder, ALL BY HERSELF.

The stupidity is magnified, if possible, when she gets these people arrested and charged by the FBI and other law enforcement officials, without any REAL evidence! All this is done largely on the basis of what our "Super Mom" figured out MUST have happened.

This is becoming longer than I intended, and my only excuse is real anger and disappointment that an Author who I once enjoyed and respected, has sunk to these unimaginablely low depths.

Suffice it to say, Save Me reads like a comic book; it will bore most thinking Adults, and should have been marketed for Pre-Teens.

Renee Wadler
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marlo C. Kirkpatrick on May 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is this a book about bullying? About unfair judgements? About past actions impacting the present? Or is it a Nancy Drew mystery? I don't know, and I don't think the author does, either. If I had not been trapped on an airplane, I would never have finished this book. The constant talk of how adorable Baby John is, the detailed description of letting a dog out before bedtime, the mundane chatter of a six-year-old going on and on and on about hamburgers, the completely unrealistic hatred directed toward a mother involved in a fire that injures a child, the laughably melodramatic statement that "All moms are superheroes," and finally, the utterly, utterly preposterous mystery all combine to make this a boring, completely unbelievable, and just plain bad read.
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