After Anna by Lisa Scottoline


Maggie Ippolitti lost custody of her only child, Anna, when she was only a few months old. 17 years later, Maggie is overjoyed when she receives a call from Anna. After learning that her father has recently died and how miserable Anna is at her nearby boarding school, Maggie allows Anna to move into her home. Her husband, Noah, is thrilled Maggie reunited with her daughter, and welcomes Anna into the family. Their happy home quickly turns into a battleground, ending with Anna making terrible accusations against Noah. He denies everything, but is forced to move out—then Anna is killed, and Noah is accused of her murder. He swears he didn’t do it, but if Noah didn’t kill Anna, who did… and why?

What I Liked

The story is told in alternating chapters and told from the perspectives of Maggie and Noah. A nice twist on this dual perspective is that Maggie’s portion (Before) starts at the beginning (when she is first contacted by Anna), and moves forward in a linear fashion. Noah’s part (After) is the opposite—it begins near the end (on the tenth day of his murder trial), and moves backwards in time. The timelines sync around 3/4 of the way in, with time moving forward linearly for both characters. The way it’s structured may be off-putting to some readers, but I loved it. It worked exceedingly well for this story, and made it an even better reading experience.

Anyone who reads thrillers knows that when a situations seems clear-cut, it’s definitely not going to play out that way. I was expecting some sort of plot twist to happen, and when it came, you could have knocked me over with a feather—that’s how stunned I felt.

The ending was everything I hoped for, and I was thoroughly satisfied when I finished. I love it when a book leaves no loose ends dangling!

What I Didn’t Like

Umm… let’s see. Oh! I know! I didn’t like that it took me so long to read a book written by Lisa Scottoline. What was I thinking?! Other than that… yeah, I got nothing.

Final Thoughts

The way the story is structured is a bit unorthodox, but it adds an extra layer of suspense to an already suspenseful story. With its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and explosive twists, After Anna is a novel you won’t soon forget.

Scottoline’s writing is superb throughout, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels in the future.

Recommended for fans of suspense driven thrillers.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley.

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Author: Lisa Scottoline
Title: After Anna
Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: April 10, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Annais a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.


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