cover image Most Wanted

Most Wanted

Lisa Scottoline. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-01013-1

Christine and Marcus Nilsson, the Connecticut couple at the heart of this uneven standalone from bestseller Scottoline (Every Fifteen Minutes), have decided to use a sperm-bank donor after three years struggling to have a baby. No. 3319’s identity is anonymous, but, like many donors, he submitted two photographs—one as a child, one as an adult. While on early leave from her job as an elementary school teacher, pregnant Christine becomes convinced that the donor is Zachary Jeffcoat, who’s being called “the Nurse Murderer” in a TV newscast after his arrest. Christine begins her own investigation to determine if the biological father of her child is a serial killer, even if it puts her life and her marriage at risk. The plot is strongest when focusing on the trials of a couple desperate for a child and the psychological ramifications of using a sperm donor. But too often the story sinks to the melodramatic, unredeemed by Scottoline’s usual verve for character. [em]Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. Author tour; 400,000-copy first printing. (Apr.) [/em]