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Book Talk: Lisa Scottoline, ‘After Anna’

The twists, which come late in the book, surprised me, and I’ve been reading murder mysteries for more than half a century. I can usually foretell the inevitable twist, but not this time. Lisa Scottoline is a one-of-a-kind author, and “After Anna” (2018, 369 pages in paperback format) is arguably her best domestic novel.

The story is told from two POVs, Maggie’s and her husband Noah’s. For the most part, they alternate chapters, Maggie from wherever the plot is at the time, and Noah from the witness chair during a trial. He’s being tried for first-degree murder, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, and his wife will not testify on his behalf. That’s the first clue that all is not well in Maggie and Noah’s household.

Maggie was married before Noah. She and her first husband Florian Desroches had a baby girl, Anna. Shortly thereafter, Maggie developed postpartum psychosis, and Florian hit the jackpot by selling his start-up for $20 million. When he files for divorce, the court grants dual legal custody of Anna to the parents, but physical custody to Florian because Maggie is an “unfit” mother.



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