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After Anna

A consuming and cleverly structured thriller, blending the story of before and after Anna.


SUMMARY Maggie lost custody of her baby, Anna, when she was only six months old. The two have not seen each other since, and now Anna is 17. Maggie had no choice but to move on, She’s found love again and is now happily married to Noah Alderman, a widower. Maggie adores Caleb, Noah’s son, and they have quite the perfect life. But everything changes when Maggie gets a call from Anna, who is now a high school student, parked in an elite boarding school in Maine. Once they meet, Anna surprisingly says wants to live with Maggie, and Maggie is beyond thrilled to have a second chance with Anna. But when Anna moves in with Maggie, Noah and Caleb chaos ensues. Anna refuses to follow the rules, makes demands and tensions mount. Within weeks of moving in, Anna is dead, she had been strangled. Noah, who found her body is now on trial for her murder. Maggie must not only face losing her daughter, but her husband as well. And then she gets another phone call.

REVIEW Have you every wanted something so much that you turn a blind eye to what you know and love. That’s what Maggie did. It’s so difficult to read about the implosion of a family. It’s a gut-wrenching story. One that has you scratching your head in wonder. What was Anna really after? There was nothing in Anna‘s character to like, she was a master at manipulation. And Maggie was at her most vulnerable.

Lisa Scottoline is a consummate storyteller, and this story pulses with angst and drama. The focus of each chapter alternates between Noah and Maggie. Noah’s initial chapters (after Anna) are told from the last day of the trial and move backwards in time. Maggie’s chapters (before Anna) start with that fateful phone call from Anna and move forward in time. When at last, the story lines converge in the later part of the book, the pacing abruptly changes. It’s fast and furious, and the twists and turns are insanely intense. Just remember to breathe. While some actions may seem implausible, it’s an adroit page-turning thriller. Lisa Scottoline fans can’t help but love After Anna. Thanks to Netgalley, St, Martin’s Press and Lisa Scottoline for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Published April 10, 2018.

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