Apr 19 2017

Most Wanted

Published by at 11:28 pm under Books


After the success of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, there were several authors who adopted a similar style to tell their stories. So I read a string of books(The Woman in Cabin 10, The Widow, In a Dark, Dark Wood, etc.) with shifting timelines and/or multiple narrators and I was actually looking for a novel that told its story using a simple, uncomplicated narrative. Lisa Scottoline’s Most Wanted satisfies that criterion. The story takes off from an intriguing plot point that raises lots of questions but takes an easy way out when the time comes to answering those questions.

The story starts with Christine Nilsson quitting her job as teacher since she is pregnant. She is delirious with joy and her state of mind is expressed well. We soon learn that she used a sperm donor to get pregnant and the novel also does a nice job of illustrating the tension between her and her husband Marcus over this. Their conversations whenever the topic rears its head feel real since both their points of view are put forward without the author taking any sides.

When Christine sees a serial killer being arrested on the news, she is convinced that he is her sperm donor. But she has no direct way to confirm this since the sperm bank doesn’t reveal any information about the donor. The novel maintains the suspense well as she tries to confirm her suspicions on her own by meeting him. The story also raises questions about what effect the dad’s character will have on the baby. Here again Christine and Marcus have different points of view and Christine’s internal struggle about her choices is explained well. Characters like her best friend and a lawyer(Marcus wants to sue the sperm bank to find the donor’s identity) are used well to bounce off opinions and explain different parts of the process.

But after raising such interesting questions, the novel takes an easy way out. As Christine’s investigation into the donor’s guilt proceeds, the drama turns into a regular thriller. The pace is maintained as she gets closer to the truth and the main surprise is quite good. Familiar thriller elements like a foot chase are used to wrap things up but they don’t drag on for too long.

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