What Have You Doneby Published 01 Oct 2018
|What Have You Done.pdf|
|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
Family is not what it seems in this raw, edgy thriller that New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline says "you won't be able to put down."
When a mutilated body is found hanging in a seedy motel in Philadelphia, forensics specialist Liam Dwyer assumes the crime scene will be business as usual. Instead, the victim turns out to be a woman he'd had an affair with before breaking it off to save his marriage. But there's a bigger problem: Liam has no memory of where he was or what he did on the night of the murder.
Panicked, Liam turns to his brother, Sean, a homicide detective. Sean has his back, but incriminating evidence keeps piling up. From fingerprints to DNA, everything points to Liam, who must race against time and his department to uncover the truth - even if that truth is his own guilt. Yet as he digs deeper, dark secrets come to light, and Liam begins to suspect the killer might actually be Sean ...
When the smoke clears in this harrowing family drama, who will be left standing?
"What Have You Done" Reviews
I’ve been really lucky several times this year when gambling on “little” novels that sound like they are psycho-twisted with all the elements of a surprise hit (Jane Doe or In the Vines FIVE STARS, BABY!!!).
Unfortunately, despite the great title, What Have You Done did not wow me. I think it will find its audience, but it won’t be a great crossover blockbuster.
This is the story of two grown brothers, both currently working in law enforcement. The brothers experienced a horrific event involving their mother when they were only youngsters. The story is told in back and forth timelines (not my favorite style) and it looks like one of the brothers may have committed murder by killing his girlfriend- yet he does not remember doing the deadly deed. The other brother feels a strong duty to protect him and so begins a series of police cover-ups and lying to family members.
I love books that feature male main characters as unreliable narrators –there just aren’t that many authors that do it. A big plus for What Have You Done. I also enjoy a bit of police procedural and forensic science in my psychological thriller. Another plus.
Now for the minus column. Insert sad face here ☹️. The story is sooooooo predictable. I even guessed the ending at just 20% into the novel. That means I was super bored for the rest of the book. I couldn’t feel any connection to the characters, either. The novel reads like a television show and the dialogue comes off as artificial and contrived. Pity.
What Have You Done is a free November pick on Kindle Unlimited, but I splurged for the audible version and spent a precious credit. Boo. The narrator was irritatingly chipper and stilted sounding, although some of that is due to the elementary writing.
So, the minuses outweigh the pluses. If you are looking for a psychological thriller with a male lead, I would direct you to an Allen Eskens or Peter Swanson novel. They are all fab-u-lous!
I'm glad to see that so many people loved this book. I was not one of them.
The writing itself is good. I wasn't wowed, but I was entertained, at first.
The premise intrigued me, but I couldn't buy into the way it was handled. We have two seasoned members of the police force who immediately decide to lie to and withhold information from their fellow investigators about details of a murder. One even tells the other that they can't trust the cops, who are supposedly professionals and their friends, to do their job correctly. The conversation sounded far more like something you'd expect from seasoned criminals or inner city youth than from two straight-laced cops who've never broken the law. From there, it just became more absurd as the two went totally rogue.
Before the 20% mark on my Kindle edition, I already knew who did it and why. There were no surprises. The characters and the plot are predictable stereotypes.
We also have scenes that go back in time to the brothers' childhood. The transitions aren't marked, and it's often initially unclear as to where we are in the story.
But that's all my opinion, as any review is. You might love the story.
*This was my Kindle First pick for September.*
This novel is many things. Unfortunately, “good” isn’t one of them, and I find myself confounded at the more generous ratings. I tried to find some redeeming qualities to temper my disappointment but came up empty. What Have You Done manages to regurgitate every suspense-fiction cliche through the actions of unlikeable characters who spew tired dialogue that overflows with repetitive word choices. And if you think that sentence was bad, after reading this novel, you will find it literary genius by comparison.
The story is one of two brothers, Liam and Sean, who escape the murderous intentions of their mother, grow up with their grandparents, and then take separate paths to join the police force—one as an officer, the other as a forensics specialist. Liam awakens one morning and can’t recall what happened the night before. When he discovers his mistress was murdered during his black out, he becomes convinced he may have killed her. Together, he and Sean search for the truth that could destroy them both.
So let’s talk about those cliches—you know, the ones they tell writers to avoid in Writing Suspense Books 101? Law enforcement partners covering for each another and citing the thin, blue line? It’s here! Memory loss and black outs? Yep! A seedy hotel with a seedier hotel owner? Uh huh. An altruistic officer who is sacrificed to further the plot? You bet! A scorned wife and dead mistress? They both make an appearance. A geeky, greasy outcast who is a computer genius? He is here as well. The list just goes on and on ad nauseam.
If the cliches mentioned at least involved likable characters, it may have been palatable. Unfortunately, MC Liam is a cheating husband; his brother Sean, a sadist; his wife Vanessa, a self-absorbed whiny spouse. By the time the book hit the 50% mark, I was ready to toss the whole thing into that GR black hole known as the DNF shelf. I didn’t give a rat’s ass what became of any of them.
I did soldier through to the end and would be remiss if I didn’t mention what is presumably the author’s favorite word: scurry. People “scurried” down streets and characters “scurried” home with disturbing regularity. I kept hoping the author would “scurry” to a thesaurus. Yeah, nope.
This was my first, and last, experience with this author. Two stars for at least some semblance of structure. Beyond that, however, all hope was lost.
Excellent Thriller About Brothers Who Have Been Through It All..
I was very impressed by this book by a new author, great story that keeps you turning pages quickly!! An excellent story of what happens in the mind when stressed for years, no childhood as one boy spends it taking care of his brother. Sean has always been the older brother, taking care of Liam for years, after their father dies and mother loses her mind..He made sure to work, have money to help Liam go through school, gets on the police force himself then thrilled when Liam becomes a forensic specialist in the same force! Or Is he Thrilled?!
Liam believes Sean is there and has been with him through everything. He can always count on the two of them being together! Then there is a murder, after a night Liam has completely no memory of, and so many little things happen...Is Liam losing his mind?
Do you wonder what is going on? Grab the book and Start Reading!!!
I love when books cross genre lines a bit, while this was firmly a thriller it was also part domestic suspense and also had the feel of a CSI episode. It was also extremely exciting and super fast paced making for an entertaining read that gripped me the entire time.
Memory loss is not exactly a new premise when it comes to thrillers but what made this one stand out for me was that every theory I would come up with was almost immediately debunked as soon as I thought of it. This was a clever tool, it kept me thinking, well if that wasn’t the answer then WTF is?! The chapters were fairly short and you guys know that’s my downfall, it always keeps me engaged and reading way past my bedtime.
At first thought I wouldn’t call this twisty but in the last quarter there were several surprises that truly shocked me. It’s one of those that may be tense throughout but the last half really picks up and the suspense is at an all time high. Definitely a new fan of the authors and will be looking forward to what he comes up with next.
What Have You Done in three words: Twisty, Gripping and Suspenseful.