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Keep Quiet Hardcover – April 8, 2014
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Busy father Jake Whitmore is finally enjoying some quality time with his 16-year-old son, Ryan, when the boy convinces him to let him drive, even though he only has his learner’s permit. Tragically, Ryan hits a jogger. What happens next causes their lives to spiral out of control. Jake’s immediate instinct is to take the blame, but then when he realizes Ryan had been smoking marijuana earlier in the day, he makes the split-second decision to simply leave the scene. The two are wracked with guilt. Jake’s wife, Pam, is suspicious and worried. And unfortunately, there was a witness, who decides to blackmail Jake—and that’s when things start to get really complicated. Scottoline keeps the tension high while portraying a family in turmoil. A heck of a twist ending wraps everything up neatly—maybe too neatly—and caps a satisfying, suspenseful read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This blend of domestic drama and criminal suspense from best-selling Scottoline is sure to hit the holds lists and may even find her a new audience among fans of issue-driven women’s fiction. --Rebecca Vnuk
“Readers will fall in love with this powerfully addictive story will haunt them long after the final page.” ―Library Journal on Don't Go
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Unlike some other reviewers, I have no complaint with the basis of the story. Arguing that the author shouldn't have employed a hit and run because other books have also is like saying "Huckleberry Finn" should have used a less utilized metaphor than a river. It's not the facts, it's what the author does with them.
I believe that many parents would have let their children drive on an empty road. I believe that many parents' first instinct would have been to lie to protect a child.
After that, I stopped believing. There was no circumstance under which a character whom we would ever care about again would leave that young woman behind and allow his son to watch that happen.
Lie upon lie upon lie. Stupidity upon stupidity upon stupidity. Clearly, we are meant to feel for the bundle of whiny neuroses which is Jake, and to try to understand how his self-pity justifies the torture to which he subjects his son Ryan, the only character in the novel with any sort of moral compass.
And Pam is awful--smug, smarmy, sanctimonious and a pedantic pain in the butt. I had forgotten Scottoline's annoying habit of abruptly stopping action to have a character explain a finer point of the law as though the reader were sitting in Con Law I. That Pam's ego is so enlarged that she would put her son and husband through an FBI investigation without even pausing to consider the strain on them is overshadowed only by her ludicrous position that letting your kid drive on a learner's permit is somehow a greater transgression than sleeping with your son's coach, lying about it, and carelessly allowing your son to find out about it.
The only way anybody was going to escape intact in this book was if the poor victim was already dead when Ryan ran over her, so it was clear from the second chapter that that would happen. Pam's oversharing with and sycophancy toward Dr. Dave makes Jake the only poor fool who doesn't know his wife is cheating on him. Only a genuine suspension of disbelief allows the possibility that anyone would WANT to sleep with her (does she ever shut up?), particularly once you learn that Dr. Dave is a pedophile and Pam would be out of his age range.
Nothing in this book rings true, although I really liked the dog. Unfortunately, he couldn't carry the whe story alone. Poor guy--stuck with these people.
The story’s main protagonist is Jake, a financial planner, who is married to a judge and has a 16 year old son named Ryan. Jake is a well-developed character with a clear backstory. Jake and Ryan have a troubled relationship because of Jake’s past employment difficulties. Jake tries to be “fun dad” and tragedy ensues. Ryan is quite frankly an annoying whiny child. He is not really likeable and the wife is also not a sympathetic character. She is a judgmental hypocritical personality with demons of her own.
The pace of the book is alright. It starts rather slowly but picks up after a few chapters. There’s no suspense for awhile but once the main characters are threatened it’s pretty much nonstop until the end.
My major problem with this is that it is completely unbelievable. Jake investigates and makes inferences about his blackmailer that a layperson not involved in law enforcement probably couldn’t do as easily as he does. Also, the ending completely wraps everything up and alleviates the protagonist from almost all culpability despite the fact that he really did commit what could have been a heinous crime.
I was really disappointed in the ending. If you are looking for a good suspenseful thriller, I wouldn’t recommend this. I like books that I can escape into, this book was so unbelievable that I found myself aware constantly of the blatant fiction.
As I began listening to this novel on my Kindle, I had to keep checking: was I reading a Jodi Picoult book? No, no, it's Lisa Scottoline, who I do believe is fast becoming my favorite author, replacing John Grisham, whose titles have become a little worn and tired.
"Keep Quiet," has suspense, intrigue, and just enough 'lawyer life' to keep the average reader turning the pages from the first chapter through the end.
It was the subject, a hit-and-run accident involving a father and son in the car, and the subsequent ethical dilemma that kept nagging at me to check who had authored this title, but really, I should have known better. Lisa Scottoline's books just get better and better as I read my way through her long list of projects.
The added interest comes in when Scottoline makes the main character's wife, a judge: more drama unfolds as Jake and Ryan's (the son) web of lies catch Pam in the crosshairs. Chapter after chapter, I couldn't help but put myself into this family's dilemma: what would I do? How common it is for a parent to be put in the situation of choosing whether to be responsible adult or the 'cool Mom or Dad.'
"Keep Quiet" is a must read for anyone who enjoys mystery or suspense novels.
The fact that his wife is a judge, being considered for a Federal position, only worsens the crisis.
Ms. Scottoline is one of the best thriller writers around, and KEEP QUIET only reinforces that. Her characters are compelling. As her plots advance, the pressure increases. And her themes are always important ones, leaving the reader with moral and ethical questions that remain long after the book is replaced on the shelf.
Another great job.