Look Again - Lisa Scottoline
This book was a mess. Ellen, the protagonist, was frustrating and continually made wrong or silly decisions. It was extremely slow and meandered for the first 244 pages, mostly following Ellen tediously researching things and interviewing people that didn't matter in the end. None of the information gleaned from slow, slow build up was really put together before the reader is thrust into a fairly implausible and confusing climax that comes out of nowhere. I'm still unclear on how the dangerous antagonist knew what was going on and when to act. He must have been doing absolutely nothing over the last two years but monitoring these people.Ellen's trip to Miami made very little sense. I cannot understand how she got away with doing everything she did – especially collecting the DNA samples – when she has the subtlety of a Mack truck. There were a lot of plot points that were either entirely superfluous, established and not mentioned again, or quickly resolved without being fully explored. Why was Ellen's father remarrying relevant? What was the point of her interviewing people for the story she never writes? So much time was spent on these and the later mention wasn't worth it or necessary (I think a features reporter could easily write a full article about everything Ellen had gone through). If so much time was spent discussing the layoffs, shouldn't something have happened with that other than the threat looming over Ellen's head (which she stupidly ignored though her job was the sole income for her and her child)? What purpose did Sarah Liu serve (other than to be an evil pain in the rear)? Ellen going to her house in the end was entirely unnecessary as nothing happened other than an extremely weak attempt to ameliorate the character. I felt no sympathy for her. Ellen could have at least been given the backbone she was sorely lacking throughout the book in that scene. No matter what anyone said or did to her she was fine with it or forgave easily. She even had sympathy for people who did not deserve it. (Did anyone actually have sympathy for the bio mother? Or the "father" after what he did? Come on now.) The romance with Marcelo (the gorgeous Latin boss who, of course, only has eyes for her) was another plot point that was mentioned but didn't evolve, it just advanced out of the blue.The ending was extremely contrived and wrapped up in a neat little bow that did not ring true at all. Someone referenced Breaking Dawn, and that is a perfect comparison. The ending to this book was just as unrealistically perfect and saccharine. I will say that the child, Will, was very cute. I really liked the scenes with him and his mother (when she wasn't leaving him with the babysitter for long stretches of time) and I very much cared about what happened to him.