Come Home by Lisa Scottoline
Source: free Advance Reader's Copy from a GoodReads' FirstReads giveaway for my honest review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: This is the first book I have read by Lisa Scottoline and I normally do not read this type of book (mystery/thriller).
That being said, I really did enjoy reading this particular novel. Just to give some perspective, I used to be a HUGE fan of mystery/thrillers. Growing up, I read all kinds of "kids'" books (including lots of Nancy Drew) and when it came time to graduate to "adult" books, I devoured every Mary Higgins Clark, etc. that I could get my hands on. Most of the "grown-ups" in my family read mysteries, so that's mostly what I read too. That all changed one day when I looked around a bookstore and it dawned on me how many other kinds of books there are out there -- so many more choices than my usual "books for school" or mysteries. I think my Mom was secretly glad I didn't try to pick up any romances at the time, but ever since my bookstore revelation, I've been reading chick lit, fantasy, young adult, romance, and Diana-Gabaldon-who-cannot-be-defined-by-any-known-genre novels. You name it, if it wasn't a mystery, I was probably reading it (or at least buying it--my "To Read" list is stupidly long).
So, after many years of steering clear of mysteries, I can't tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to enjoy this book so much. It was a quick read and it kept me furiously flipping pages, trying to figure out what would happen next. It also reminded me why I used to like mysteries so much and definitely made me want to read more of Lisa's earlier books.
The main character is Jill Farrow, a wife, mother, and doctor who is widowed, divorced and now about to marry her third husband. She has a daughter from her first marriage who is getting along fantastically with her fiance and their lives finally seem to be back on track. Or they were until the news that Jill's ex-husband may have been murdered brings her ex step-daughters back into her life. And trust me, that's just as complicated as it sounds.
Jill is such a caring and likeable protagonist, even as this mystery starts to tear her family and her life apart. Whether it is her family or her patients, Jill always tries to do what is best and what is right, even though she doesn't necessarily play by the rules. (I couldn't help picturing Jill as Dana Delany's character Megan Hunt from ABC's Body of Proof, but that's just me.)
My only gripe? (And I admit it's incredibly stupid and petty.) The dog in the story is named Beef. We meet Beef on the very first page and he's an adorable, wonderful dog, but I just couldn't shake how odd his name was. I felt weird reading it every single time. (My apologies to any pet owners who have named their own darlings Beef). But hey, if that's the only thing wrong with a book, there really isn't actually anything wrong with the book!