Bestselling author Lisa Scottoline has thrilled millions with her emotionally-charged novels that feature strong women exploring the boundaries of family, justice, and love. In Don’t Go, she breaks new ground and delivers the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero.
When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.
However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left - his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.
Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family. Gripping, thrilling, and profoundly emotional, Don’t Go is Lisa Scottoline at her finest.
Up until now I had only read Scottoline's non-fiction work, but this was a digital audio book at our public library and I decided to give it a try. I figured when Mike was in Afganistan something bad was going to happen and I have to say that I think being separated from small children for so long is not healthy for anyone, coming back for his wife's funeral his daughter has no memory of him and cries whenever he is around, when he comes home for good she is calling his sister-in-law "Mommy" and brother-in-law "Daddy" and wants nothing to do with him. (I have to say at this point I didn't understand why the in-laws had allowed this to happen and wondered why they hadn't done more with the Skype sessions and pictures to reinforce who daddy was, where he was, when he would be back, I had issues with this because as much as they wanted to blame his absence for the problems, they could have taken steps to help in advance.) Dealing with an injury, the use of pain killers, the death of his wife, a child who doesn't know him, the loss of his practice while he was gone, no immediate job prospect in the area and the disturbing facts he learned after his wife's death make for a very turbulent first week home from combat.
Years ago I read mysteries a lot and felt like I had gotten pretty good at figuring out the twists, but this is the second mystery in the past two weeks that I have had hunches that turned out to be totally wrong, so either I am rusty or mysteries have gotten a lot better! I was not totally sold on the narrator of this audio book, the way he made the women sound was just kind of off to me. I couldn't tell if they were supposed to have French accents, as I originally thought, or if that was just how he made his voice sound more feminine.
The book raised questions about what kind or education families need to help their loved ones reenter family life away from the battle front, what kind of protections need to be made for their legal rights nad to ensure that they have jobs to come home to, what kinds of legal documents could the armed forces be providing to eliminate possible litigation and how long does it take to reintegrate with the family.