It’s hard for me to know exactly what I’m reviewing when I review this book. It was my first audiobook, and the narrator was awful. Am I really reviewing the concept of audiobooks, new to me after 24 years as an avid reader? Am I reviewing the narrator, kind of? Or the book? One thing is certain: the latter two things were terrible. So I guess it really doesn’t matter.
Dr. Mike Scanlon is a podiatrist serving in the Army, repairing feet blown up by IEDs. He has a wife (Chloe) and baby daughter (Emily) back home. His world is turned upside down when his wife is unloading the dishwasher while drunk (she had a hidden drinking problem), cuts herself on a knife, passes out at the sight of the blood, and bleeds to death. His wife and her sister are French for no particular reason, which requires the male narrator to spend half the book doing a French female voice, which is unbelievably awful. His sister in law and her husband take in the baby while he finishes his tour. Lots of things are not what they seem.
This book is, frankly, awful. The dialogue is stupid, the characters are stupid, their actions are stupid, the entire thing is stupid. If you’re going to read it, give the audiobook version a hard pass – almost every character has a ridiculous accent for some reason. I’ll admit that about 2/3 in, I was very interested in how several of the mysteries would resolve themselves, but then they did, and almost all of them were completely asinine, especially what was behind Chloe’s drinking, which seemed very much like Scottoline just forgot to tie that up and then shoved in a few pages about it at the very end. There’s a villain behind a lot of what’s going on, who has a dramatic and absurd Villain Monologue that made me mad at myself for having even stayed with the book long enough to get there. Scottoline also managed to find the one single person in the entire book that would’ve led to an “Oh. That’s the villain? Huh” non-reaction. Literally almost any character would have been more interesting.
The upside? Turns out audiobooks are pretty cool. I like being able to get through a book while I clean the house. I’m giving it two stars since I was at least curious about the outcome for a decent portion of the book, but honestly, it probably doesn’t deserve them.