ARC REVIEW: You Don’t Want To Know, by Lisa Jackson

Released: August 7, 2012 (Kensington Books)
Source: Publisher, for review
Buy Now From: Amazon

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson comes a gripping novel of suspense where a mother’s worst fear is only the beginning of a terrifying nightmare…

In Ava’s dreams, her son, Noah, looks just the way she remembers him: a sweet two-year-old in rolled-up jeans and a red sweatshirt. When Ava wakes, the agonizing truth hits her all over again. Noah went missing two years ago, and has never been found. Almost everyone, including Ava’s semi-estranged husband, assumes the boy drowned after falling off the dock near their Church Island home.

Ava has spent most of the past two years in and out of Seattle mental institutions, shattered by grief and unable to recall the details of Noah’s disappearance. Now she’s back at Neptune’s Gate, the family estate, her strength slowly returning. But as Ava’s mind comes back into focus, she can’t shake the feeling that her family, and her psychologist, know more than they’re saying. Are they worried for her well-being—or anxious about what she might discover?

Ava secretly visits a hypnotist, hoping to restore her memories. But the strange visions and night terrors keep getting worse. She is sure she’s heard Noah crying in the nursery, and glimpsed him walking near the dock. Is she losing her mind, or is Noah still alive? Ava won’t stop until she gets answers, but the truth is more dangerous than she can imagine. And the price may be more than she ever thought to pay…

Why I Read This Book

I had entered a contest that Kensington books was having to win an ARC of Lisa Jackson’s latest book. Even though she’s written 75 novels, I’ve never actually read anything by her. When I won the copy of the ARC and saw that it was coming out in August, I decided to give it a whirl. I was also pulled in by the cover: You can’t see it in the picture, but my copy had a plastic binding around the book that slid off. When you slid off the plastic binding, the little kid in the red coat disappears. How cool is that?

My Thoughts

The genre of mystery and suspense is quite new to me. I always start reading a book, thinking that I know all the answers, but most of the time I end up shaking my head wondering why it’s so hard to figure out all of the answers right away.

This is exactly what happened to me with You Don’t Want to Know — I was immediately hooked by the suspense, the eeriness of the story of how Ava loses her son and is on a mission to find him. As the chapters flew by, I kept telling myself, “This is going to happen … no, no … this is going to happen! … hmm, oh wait! This is going to happen!” In the end, only a few of my guesses came true. 

You Don’t Want to Know is my first Lisa Jackson novel, which is kind of outstanding considering she has over 75 novels in her repertoire, and I know it’s not going to be my last. Jackson is quite a wonderful writer who has plenty of twists and turns throughout her stories. I admit that I was pretty slow reading this one — it took about a week for me to get halfway through the novel, mainly because I was a little put off by the length, and it was just a wee bit slow in the beginning — but once I hit the halfway point, I was flipping the pages like it was nobody’s business. I assure you, that the whole week it took me to get into it, I was constantly thinking about the novel, wondering what was going to happen next.

Another great thing about this novel are the characters. I really loved Ava’s character, as well as her husband Wyatt. Ava’s entire family drove me absolutely nuts throughout the entire story and I wondered why they thought Ava was the crazy one when they weren’t really solid lines themselves. I was also curious why, after they gave Ava so much grief, she didn’t just kick them all out of the house!

The only thing that irked me was the romance. I felt that it was a little forced and unnecessary. Actually, it happened so infrequently through the novel and was a case of “insta-romance” that I thought I could avoid in an adult read. I’m sorry, but two characters cannot fall in love that quickly. I also thought there was one character in specific who had a great supportive role, but dropped off the face of the book towards the end.

However, even though I didn’t like the romance aspect of the book, I really loved Jackson’s style of writing. Seeing as this was an ARC, I can’t say for sure what will be in the finished copy, but what I read was pretty darn good. Definitely keeps me interested in the genre!

(On a humorous note, I was telling my book club that I was reading this book and we joked how the title can bring out a lot of “Who’s on first?” conversations. When they asked what I was reading, I said, with a laugh in my voice, “You Don’t Want To Know” and we all had a laugh.)

If you’re a fan of mysteries, or if you’ve read other works by Lisa Jackson, you should like this one. It’s a wee bit long, so be prepared to spend some time on it.

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: You Don’t Want To Know, by Lisa Jackson

  1. Pingback: Sunday Reads: Volume 36 «

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