2013-04-11 / Columns

Off the Bookshelf

Think Twice
By Maralee Kalianoff

After reading “Think Twice” by mystery/thriller writer Lisa Scottoline, I will go actively seeking everything she has written.

A reviewer, writing about Scottoline’s work, wrote: “Lisa Scottoline writes riveting emotional thrillers that combine the ethical dilemmas of Jodi Picoult with the breakneck pacing of James Patterson.” What that reviewer didn’t mention is that Scottoline also writes with a sense of humor. That humor and Lisa’s use of short paragraphs which end abruptly, leaving you dangling, also ensure the reader will keep reading long into the wee hours of the night. “Think Twice” was hard to put down.

Scottoline always portrays her female characters as very strong, determined, independent women; “Think Twice” is no exception.

Benedetta (Bennie) and Alice are twin sisters, separated at birth. Although they are identical in appearance, the two are nothing alike. Alice is a “tough girl” who lives a tough life; Bennie is quiet, polite, and focused on her career.

Even though Bennie was the twin their mother chose to keep, Alice ultimately had the more affluent, easier childhood. Bennie spent the majority of her childhood alone with her mother after her father deserted them. Although she and her mother were close, her mom’s struggle with depression eventually left her unable to function, leaving Bennie to take care of her. Alice’s adoptive family doted on her, giving her everything she wanted. Now, years later, Bennie is a successful attorney who owns her own law firm; Alice is in and out of trouble constantly, associating with thugs and supplying prescription drugs to dealers.

Alice and Bennie are not close but they keep in touch. Bennie even successfully defended Alice when she was arrested as a murder suspect. Bennie has recently found a respectable, steady job for her sister, a job Alice seems to like. But Alice can’t let go of her jealousy of Bennie. She is jealous that their mother chose to keep Bennie and give her away; she is equally envious of Bennie’s wealth and success.

Both sisters are intelligent, however. When Alice hatches a plan to murder Bennie and assume her twin’s identity, at least long enough to transfer Bennie’s three million dollars to an offshore bank, will she be successful? Or will her equally intelligent sister foil the murder plot and claim what is rightfully hers?

To spice up the already interesting plot, Scottoline throws in an Italian Psychic “Queen of the Witches,” Fiorella, who is visiting relatives in Philadelphia. Mary, the daughter of the family she is visiting, just happens to be a “wanna-be” associate of Bennie’s.

The plot makes for scintillating reading and is skillfully written by Scottoline. “Think Twice” can be found at the Harry L. Petrie Library in Linton.

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If a book you are looking for is not available at the Harry L. Petrie Library, Librarian Carla Frison will be happy to obtain it from the North Dakota State Library for you. If you return the book to the State Library in Bismarck within the allotted time, there is no charge. The staff can return it by mail but will have to charge you for postage.

Hours for the library in Linton are Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 2-5 p.m. on Friday. Friends of the Library meets every first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Library. Everyone is welcome.

To contact Maralee, e-mail her: bonus73@hotmail.com and put Off the Bookshelf in the subject line.

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