Thursday, May 1, 2014
Come Home could benefit from some tartness. Lisa Scottoline doesn't dwell in the same sub-genre as Laura Lippman but her legal thrillers have always had a bit of South Philly girlfriend addy-tood. This novel, however, features a Main Line pediatrician and a Lifetime Movie tone. I love seeing authors stretch, and (although it may surprise some to hear me say this), I don't assume that "chick lit" is bad. Come Home, however, is, well, not very good chick-lit. Three years after her divorce, Jill Farrow opens the door on a rainy night to find her former stepdaughter, distraught over her father's death. Abby is convinced her father was murdered, the police are not. Sounds like the perfect Scottoline set-up right? Well, the solution turns on a rather dull (and accurately portrayed) bit of regulatory law, and Scottoline does manage to make that interesting. Where she fails in in her usual strength - character. As I mentioned last year, Scottoline's longest running character, Judy Carrier and Mary DiNunzio feel so real that I not only know them, I have been either one - or both - of them. Jill Farrow, her fiancé, her daughter and former stepdaughters - none of them feel real. They're the sort of flat characters that trap talented actresses in RomCom Purgatory, cute and earnest and ultimately unbelievable. Think Twice reminded me how much I like Lisa Scottoline's Rosato & Associates books. Come Home has taught me to think twice if Scottoline's protagonist isn't a lawyer.