Monday 22 May 2023

What Happened to the Bennetts

Finished May 16
What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

This novel opens with a family driving home after a successful lacrosse game for the daughter Allison. There is a vehicle following too closely, but when given the opportunity to pass it doesn't until, all of a sudden it does and the men in it have pulled guns on the family and forced them out of the vehicle. Jason, the father, is both shocked and worried for his family, especially when one of them seems to hone in on Allison. When the family dog, Moonie, makes a sudden move, things deteriorate further, and shots are fired. A car approaches from behind and the family is left to pick up the pieces. 
After the police and hospital the family, now home, finds them visited in the wee hours by the FBI. They are told that the carjackers were members of an organized crime group, active in drug trafficking in the region, and that their family is now a target of this group. 
They are given little time to grab possessions and brought to a safe house in Delaware, remote and isolated. They find that the men targeting them have gone further, taking aim at Jason's court reporting service business, as well as his wife Lucinda's photography business. The son, Ethan, is in a bad place too, blaming himself for not holding the dog Moonie more tightly and thus somehow being the cause of all their woes. 
Jason talks with one of the men minding them, Dom, and shares his concerns while mining for data on the case and the likelihood of capture of the men. As he does, he moves from uncertainty, to trust, and back again. When he finds information that doesn't seem to match what the family is being told, he decides that the only one he can truly trust is himself, and he makes a plan to dig deeper into the motivations of everyone involved and get at the real truth behind their situation. 
I enjoyed the character of Jason, an intelligent man, who has used his skills to start his own business, and who is close to his family, involved in his children's lives. I also enjoyed seeing Ethan work through some of his issues and grow during the course of the book. Many of the other characters, from Dom, to Flossie the trucker were well drawn and interesting and brought us into other ways of living, other worlds of experience. 
I read this book quickly, eager to learn what happened and hope that this family would come through this ordeal. A great page-turner. 

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