• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

Scottoline's suspenseful mystery offers surprising depth in exploring grief while the main protagonist takes justice into his own hands to bring peace to his family.

In Lisa Scottoline's recent suspenseful mystery What Happened to the Bennetts, Jason Bennett is a suburban dad whose life takes a horrific turn when his car is hijacked–and his family with it.

The FBI tells Jason he’s stumbled into the crosshairs of a drug-trafficking organization. Agents advise the family to enter witness protection immediately in order to save their lives. But Jason can't shake the fact that they've done nothing wrong, and the witness protection program is for criminals who have turned on those around them--not for law-abiding citizens who stumble into a sinister situation.

Jason is tempted to take justice into his own hands, abandon the FBI's deals, and give up a path to safety in order to find out the truth once and for all.

But his mission to uncover who is responsible for his family's trauma will reveal secrets he never would have imagined, and he may make discoveries that place uncomfortable responsibility for the recent disturbing, violent events at the feet of everyone he's trusted.

I'm up for a renegade story and a good-over-evil, noble quest. But What Happened to the Bennetts is more than a suspense story. Scottoline offers surprising depth, particularly while exploring the bone-shaking grief that lies at the root of this story. Her treatment of this delicate issue within a solid, suspenseful mystery cemented my interest in reading more of her books.

The mystery within What Happened to the Bennetts is twisty without being manipulative, and the denouement felt satisfyingly layered and complex.

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Scottoline is the author of Eternal and 31 other mysteries.

I received a prepublication digital galley of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam.