After Anna: Lisa Scottline
Creating a world that is fabricated and contrived within the mind of a manipulative and conniving person. Angered at being disassociated with s parent at a young age and not remembering much of what resulted in living with another parent told lies about the one in order to discredit the other . Fogs are thick mists that often make it hard to see what is right in front of you but in this case the mist is so thick it clouds the judgment and perspective of two people not allowing them to see or realize what is happening. Destroying a family was the goal of Anna . A teenage girl sent to boarding school when her father is given custody tossing her aside like yesterday’s news . Never even inviting her to his wedding when he gets married and barely remembers he has a daughter. Anna is shrewd manipulative and smart. Learning that her father and his family were killed in an auto accident she reaches out to her mother Maggie out of nowhere. Maggie is overjoyed when Anna reaches out to her and wants to meet her. But, even during their initial meeting anyone can sense a dire undertone. But, let’s fast forward or back to chapter one and learn that Maggie’s husband Dr. Noah Alderman is facing a death sentence or life for the death of Anna.
Maggie was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis and it impacted her life and disabled her ability to care for Anna at a young age. Realizing her disability she called for help and at that point she realized that she needed to place her daughter with someone else and was committed to an institution for help. This becomes a central point in the novel when Maggie and Anna finally meet and the lies about her reason for giving her up but not her parental rights comes out. Told by her father that Maggie abused her, you can hear the defiance in her voice and the anger until she realizes in her own diabolical way that in order to get what she wants she has to at least pretend to adhere to Maggie’s rules, wishes and believe what she has told her.
Destroying a family was Anna’s goal. A teenage girl sent to boarding school when her father is given custody tossing her aside like yesterday’s news . Never even inviting her to his wedding when he gets married and barely remembers he has a daughter. Anna is shrewd manipulative and smart. Learning that her father and his family were killed in an auto accident she reaches out to her mother Maggie out of nowhere. Maggie is overjoyed when Anna reaches out to her and wants to meet her. But, even during their initial meeting anyone can sense a dire undertone. But, let’s fast forward or back to chapter one and learn that Maggie’s husband dr. Noah alderman is facing a death sentence or life for the death of Anna.
The author flashes back to that initial phone call and then ahead to the trial in reverse order so that readers get to hear the testimony of witnesses and that of Noah whose testimony is hard pressed as the prosecution is relentless and stoops to every legal trick in the book. But, Anna convinced Maggie to allow her to live with Noah her and Caleb his son .
Noah realizes early on that Anna is not the sweet and demure young girl she would like everyone to believe she is. Befriending Caleb and insisting going furniture shopping as a “family” she asks Noah to check out the sheets she wants for her bed and it’s at this point he realizes that she is no innocent teen. Added in Maggie asks him to take driving since she insists on buying a new Range Rover against Noah’s judgment. But, Anna is wealthy and has a Trust and basically she can do as she pleases s the author flashes to the trial and presents it in reverse and we learn that Noah finds her body in his driveway ten days after she joined his household . The prosecution tries to crucify him asking and asking over and over again the same questions trying to catch him in a lie. At times it seems the judge is against him and at other times he switches sides. Throughout the trial Maggie is not present at times since Anna told her that Noah made advances towards her never thinking she lied. Revenge for her childhood manipulative and cunning who is the real Anna?
Florian Desroches was Maggie Ippoliti’s first husband who was a technology expert and Anna was their only child until her psychological issues flared up. Anna is brought up in a cold environment until she decides at 17 years of age to reach out to her mother, and her husband a pediatric allergist. But, not everything you hear and see is what really is as the fog gets thicker and the lies increase their intensity as Anna is not the sweet and loving daughter that Maggie things she is. Noah is perceptive and realizes that Maggie is pushing aside her daughter’s actions and behaviors and chalks I up to being 17 even though she is rude and belligerent. Anna even claims that Noah dislikes her starting her own course of destruction hoping to alienate him from Maggie and Caleb. Even lying about him coming on to her and then she is found dead. But, will Maggie remain within this dense fog, will she realize that Anna’s life before living with her was filled with discord, unhappiness, not fitting in, bullying and loneliness and more?
As the author relates Anna and her relationships with Maggie and Noah we begin to see a disturbing pattern of lies, manipulation and orchestration of a plan to destroy a family because of Maggie’s actions in the past, her disconnect with her father and his too in the past and her desire to take control of their lives and hers in the present. As the courtroom scenes unfold we can tell that Anna’s answers were well thought out, rehearsed and too smooth given without any hesitation. The author created a credible character with a diabolically disturbed personality. Noah sees Anna moving in one direction and his outburst when losing a patient carries over to seeing her new car in his spot in his driveway making that part of the testimony given sounding like a jealous child angry because he could not afford what this young girl can yet she manages to take charge and Maggie goes against Noah.
Changes happen throughout the novel as the author gives us the details and events during the trial in reverse order but you can feel the anger and the frustration every time Noah comes up against the other side’s attorney and his seems to falter into the wind at times making it difficult to believe that the judge is impartial.
Why did Maggie side with Anna when she claimed that Noah did something inappropriate in the bathroom? Why didn’t see assess the facts? Is it because she wanted to have a total connection with her daughter at any cost? Why not ask her if things were changing and going out of control since she arrived? What about what she learned about her friend Jamie and why wouldn’t she want to help find her? Something is off!
Flashbacks to another incident with someone named Jordan who seemed to want to compromise Noah’s integrity and marriage flaunting herself at him. The prosecution seems to know more than most relating to Noah’s life and Maggie is in the courtroom in disguise wanting to hear the facts yet denying within herself that Anna is lying. What is the truth and will it ever be revealed?
The ending is startling and the verdict is given but after listening to the testimony and that of the detective in charge you realize that this could be ripped right out of the headlines as Noah was convicted and no one else was even looked at. Did he kill Anna?
Cover-ups, innocent victims and the harsh reality of someone would do in order gain what other might have. Jealousies, false leads, false clues and one man’s life hangs in the balance but will the truth come out in time or will Noah face the rest of his life at the mercy of the CO guards in a prison filled with corruption and deceit? The ending will allow readers to know the truth but will Maggie believe it or not?
Author Lisa Scottline leads readers down a dangerous path of lies, deceits, greed, betrayals and revenge as officials have to admit mistakes, some have to take ownership of their omissions and a young girl might pay the ultimate price? But, what happens to Maggie, Noah, Caleb and Anna after? Read this spellbinding , unpredictable novel to find out the truth!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/Mj network