Bonnie Jack

Ian Hamilton. House of Anansi, $17.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4870-0708-9
This glacially paced novel with minor mystery subplots from Hamilton (the Ava Lee series) focuses on Jack Anderson, the head of a successful Massachusetts insurance company. On Thanksgiving 1989, Jack reveals to his family that he has lied about his past to everyone, including his wife, Anne. When Anderson was six years old, his mother took him and his older sister, Moira, to a movie double feature in Glasgow, Scotland, where they lived. After the first film ended, she told Jack she was just going to take Moira to the bathroom; instead, she abandoned him. When the authorities contacted Jack’s father, the father told them he wasn’t interested, and Jack ended up in foster care, eventually getting adopted by an American couple, whom Anderson has said are his birth parents. Jack finds Moira, who agrees to meet, and after Jack and Anne travel to Scotland, they learn more family secrets and wind up dealing with violent criminals. Hamilton tells rather than shows, an approach that further lessens the emotional impact of the plot’s surprises. Contrivances that enable resolution of serious issues don’t aid engagement with either the story or its characters. This is for Hamilton fans only. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/13/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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