What Happened to the Bennetts

Lisa Scottoline. Putnam, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-53967-4

At the outset of this heart-wrenching novel from bestseller Scottoline (Eternal), Jason and Lucinda Bennett, while driving home to Philadelphia with their son, his older sister, 15-year-old Allison, and their dog, are forced to stop by two men in a truck. When the dog jumps at the men, Allison is accidentally shot, and the two flee. Allison dies at the hospital, where the Bennetts learn that one of their assailants later fatally shot the other, who turns out to have been the son of the head of a criminal network that distributes and sells opiates in Pennsylvania. Early the next morning, two FBI agents bundle the Bennetts off to a safe house in Delaware, where they’re to stay before entering the witness protection program. Scottoline piles on the pathos with repetitive memories and musings among the surviving family members until Jason finally decides to take back control of his life, and what started as an examination of the profound pain of losing a child morphs into a high-speed, action-packed thriller. Conspiracy theories multiply as Jason races toward the truth. Scottoline’s fans will get their money’s worth. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
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