Written By: Lisa Scottoline
Published By: St. Martins Press April 8, 2014
Length: 352 pages
Source: Author, in exchange for an honest review
Scottoline delivers once again with Keep Quiet, an emotionally gripping and morally complex story about one father’s decision to protect his son — and the devastating consequences that follow.
Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all.
In typical Scottoline style this book is fast paced, and urges you to keep turning the pages. Jake has a critical lapse of judgement when he allows Ryan to drive after the set curfew time of his Learner’s Permit. When a bad situation gets worse and Jake makes another choice that will haunt both he and Ryan, and the story really heats up. I think we’ve all been told one lie leads to another and another and so it goes also for this story. Every where Jake goes he’s telling another lie and he’s telling his son to do the same. Jake is also trying to keep Ryan calm. Naturally the minute they arrive home his wife Pam is asking questions, why are you late, why does Ryan look upset, etc. The lies continue and when Jake thinks he has a grip on how to manage this turmoil, a mysterious stranger comes forward with information that could ruin Jake and Ryan more. This threat comes with a price.
Beyond the event that began this story, Keep Quiet is about the secrets and lies that are found in many families and relationships. Jake and Pam’s marriage had been tested when Jake lost his job, but he then started his own financial planning business and after some counseling Jake felt they were strong again. Pam’s world as a judge is also changing as her name is being put in the hat for a federal judge position opening up. Her family and life will be put under immense scrutiny, they must be squeaky clean in every way. Jake is frantic that is wife will learn of his deceit, and if she does, can she forgive him?
Lisa Scottoline is a master at mystery, these are real everyday people who have made life changing bad choices. Jake Buckman is like hundreds of men and fathers I know…until he makes his mistake. The attention to detail of the legal consequences of such an accident are spot on. Lisa’s own legal background and her astute research make these details all the better. The fear and rash actions of Ryan are exactly how a teen would react.
This book was such a good read, a few twists and turns had me up half the night! I highly recommend Keep Quiet to anyone who enjoys a thriller based mystery. I’ve read many of Lisa Scottoline’s books and enjoyed them all. She’s just now headed out on an extensive book tour, so check her website for more information. She’s also on twitter and facebook.