Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"MOST WANTED" BY LISA SCOTTOLINE!

I decided to read this book because I figured it would be fairly mindless, accessible reading suitable to most women.  Lisa Scottoline has written a bunch of these reasonably entertaining, fairly absorbing type books that are worth spending a lazy afternoon with.  

First observation, she seems to have taken on the job of using two words for her titles just to grab our attention, and it works.  See!  I noticed.  There are a bunch of these novels: "Save me", "Come Home", "Look Again", "Don't Go".  Also, of interest are the single word titles such as "Corrupted", "Betrayed", and "Accused", which I'll bet also work when it comes to attracting dilettante readers such as me.  I guess that's one of the formulas that makes you a best selling novelist.  

Scottoline, whose name, fyi, rhymes with fettucine, is a former attorney, who decided to write books as a way to stay at home when her daughter, Francesca (also a writer), was born.  Good plan is all I can say.  Her work has been translated into 26 different languages, and I am assuming that goes along with reaching out to millions of readers, although, for some curious reason, Wiki doesn't tell me this.  

Hello, Wiki, and Wiki content writers, time to go into more detail about this writer--duh!  

OK, I did a little more homework on this and on the back flap of the book, Ms. Scottoline's bio states she has 30 million copies of her books in print. All right then. That doesn't quite say that she sold 30 million copies, but it is close enough!

I can't say that I was particularly pulled in by this book, although the cute cover with the baby feet is adorable (I suspect that was the draw!). Fertility is a bit of a yawn for me, not having had that problem myself, as is true of the remainder of my family.  In fact, just the opposite.  My Dad always said that every time he looked at my mother she got pregnant.  So I will admit that with this book, I tended to stop and start and stop and start again.  I felt as though the premise was a bit hackneyed, or maybe it was just the writing--it isn't always easy to tell.  

I didn't really relate that well to the two primary characters, Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus--they came across as bland and uninteresting.  On the other hand, that again is a technique--make the main characters so vacuous that any reader can insert him or herself imaginatively into their shoes and add more color to the narrative!  So perhaps this is more of an opportunity than a flaw.

Ok, let me stop here and tell you the plot.  It basically revolves around a couple where the father is infertile and they decide to get pregnant via a sperm donor.  Not long after Christine realizes she is pregnant, makes plans to leave her job, and has her farewell party, she realizes that the anonymous father of her child--Donor 3319-- might be a serial killer.  

How does she figure this out?  

Well, conveniently, the fertility clinic has given her a picture of the anonymous donor.  How likely is that?  I feel not very likely, or if it is likely, it is an awfully stupid policy for the fertility clinic to maintain.  If you have a picture, no matter how anonymous the donor might consider himself, sooner or later the child or children he's conceived will track their way back to him.  

To make a long story short, Christine sees a recently arrested serial killer on TV and is struck by the very close resemblance between her anonymous donor in the picture and the serial killer.  

Ah hah!  So the stage is set!  

Not able to get confirmation of the identity of the anonymous donor who is the father of her child because of clinic protocols, Christine decides to go and visit the serial killer in jail and see if she can extract enough information from him to determine whether he is the actual father of her child by matching it up with the answers on the anonymous questionaire she received when she was choosing the donor (picture oh yes, oh no, oh yes, oh no etc. etc.). During her interview with him, the alleged serial killer vehemently denies that he murdered anyone!  

Oh my goodness--truth, lie?  

And why is Christine's husband, Marcus, who has been humiliated by the discovery he's been shooting blanks all these years, pretty much out of the picture. Could he be up to something deep, dark and dastardly?  Only continuing to read will get you the answers.  

So, I'm sort of engaged in the story now I've reached page 160.  You may not be willing to wait that long!  

FYI, if you were wondering, if you google anything about the unregulated sperm bank industry online, you'll find that there are serious problems with this kind of business.  So Scottoline clearly did her homework before she got started writing.  I will post a link below to one New York Times article, but there are many more.  

So not only is this book entertaining--eventually--it is educational, particularly if it motivates you to do a google search while reading.

New York Times Article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/opinion/sunday/the-unregulated-sperm-industry.html?_r=0

Amazon link to purchase the book:
https://www.amazon.com/Most-Wanted-Lisa-Scottoline/dp/1250010136/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464823204&sr=8-1&keywords=Most+Wanted

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