Things Don’t Add Up In Lisa Scottoline’s ‘Most Wanted’ [REVIEW]

baby foot

She wanted a baby more than anything… and then she found out her sperm donor may be a killer.
(Photo by Ben O’Bryan, Flickr)

Christine and Marcus Nilsson tried to have a baby for years. After exhausting all options, they decide to use a sperm donor. Then, three months into the pregnancy, Christine sees a news report about a man who has raped several women… and the man looks remarkably like the photo of their donor. This impossible situation thus poses the question: what would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer? New York Times bestselling novelist Lisa Scottoline tackles this tough topic in her suspenseful new novel, Most Wanted. 

Lisa Scottoline's MOST WANTED

St. Martin’s Press

I’ve been a fan of Scottoline’s for years now. Her previous book, Every Fifteen Minutes, kept me turning pages late into the night. Most Wanted should have done the same thing. The premise definitely sounded promising. But after reading the first few chapters, I was very close to leaving the remainder of the novel unread.

To begin with, I simply didn’t buy into the lead character, Christine. She didn’t come across as authentic, but rather seemed formulated and one dimensional. To begin with, while most people would likely chalk up the facial similarities between the sperm donor and rapist as coincidence, Christine readily believes he is donor 3319 and sets out to find answers.

With only circumstantial evidence from a website and the news report to go on, she throws all reason into the wind in her quest to identify donor 3319, despite her husband’s urging to the contrary. I simply couldn’t buy into this woman’s level of sudden paranoia.

Then there is the matter of the ending. Don’t worry. I’m not going to spoil it for you. However, I will say that I didn’t think it was very realistic. Life is messy. It doesn’t come gift wrapped and tied with a pretty pink bow. People are emotional and passionate about what they think and feel, and yet the ending of this book simply seems contrived.

On the plus side, I must say that Scottoline does a great job with dialogue. Here it is by turns tumultuous and provocative, and it constantly propels the story forward until the final page. So it has that going for it.

Altogether though, Most Wanted simply fails to work. It could have been so much better if I only had a more convincing buy-in to Christine’s angst. In the end, I didn’t care about the identity of donor 3319, Christine, her marriage, or the killer. I just wanted the novel to be finished.

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline
(Photo by April Narby)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling writer and Edgar award-winning author of Every Fifteen Minutes, Corrupted, and Think Twice. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print and her work has been published in more than 35 countries.

She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Enquirer titled “Chick Wit,” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective.

These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of memoirs including their most recent, I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places

In addition to writing her own work, she reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Philadelphia Enquirer.

Lisa has served as president of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, “Justice and Fiction,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She is also a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events.

She currently lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Visit her home on the Web at Scottoline.com, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

MOST WANTED
By Lisa Scottoline
448 pgs. St. Martin’s Press. $27.99.

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About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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