Scottoline brings tension to a boil in her latest novel. Her characters are believable, and her protagonist is sympathetic despite making a truly horrific choice at the start of the novel. The situation worsens as the fallout from each decision propels the characters along a path from which recovery seems unlikely. This is an intriguing exploration of human frailties, justice and family relationships.
In hopes of bonding with his teenage son, Jake Buckman allows him to drive illegally with a learner’s permit at night. When a tragic accident occurs, Jake decides to leave the scene to save his son from landing in jail, and they agree to keep the truth from everyone, including Jake’s wife, a judge. Jake’s choice triggers a series of events that changes his family forever. When a witness threatens to blackmail him, Jake’s plan for secrecy begins to unravel. (ST. MARTIN’S, Apr., 352 pp., $27.99)