Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Come Home: A Novel

Come Home: A Novel

3.4 148
by Lisa Scottoline

See All Formats & Editions

"This thrilling testament to a mother's relentless love may well be Scottoline's best novel to date."-Library Journal (starred review)

Jill Farrow is a suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She loves being a pediatrician and is about to remarry, while her daughter, Megan, is a happily


"This thrilling testament to a mother's relentless love may well be Scottoline's best novel to date."-Library Journal (starred review)

Jill Farrow is a suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She loves being a pediatrician and is about to remarry, while her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old. But Jill's life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up and delivers shocking news: Jill's ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered-and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries, and soon discovers that the story doesn't add up...As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet how can Jill turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own? What are the limits of love, loss, and family?

"Relentless...jaw-dropping."-David Baldacci

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Complex family dynamics and carefully concealed secrets drive this gripping stand-alone from Edgar-winner Scottoline (Save Me). Jill Farrow, a Philadelphia pediatrician, and her teenage daughter, Megan, live with Jill’s calm and forbearing fiancé, Sam Becker. When Jill’s estranged 19-year-old ex-stepdaughter, Abby Skyler, rushes into Jill’s home late one rainy night to tell her that her ex-husband, William, is dead, apparently of a drug overdose, Jill can summon little sympathy for the unscrupulous William. When the distraught Abby insists that her father was murdered and that Jill must help her find his killer, Jill is reluctant to get involved, particularly since the police can find no evidence of a crime. As Jill tries to juggle her duties as doctor, mother, and sleuth, her delving into William’s murky past puts emotional strain on Megan and jeopardizes her relationship with Sam. A surfeit of melodrama and some anemic subplots are unlikely to deter the author’s many loyal fans. Author tour. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“The suspense and dread build like a series of tornadoes flattening all in their path...The pace is relentless, the twists are jawdropping, and then Scottoline piles ending on top of ending until you turn the last page. As I closed the novel, I thought that, quite simply, Scottoline is a powerhouse.” —David Baldacci

“Scottoline delivers a satisfying thriller with a family saga at its core.” —Booklist

“Complex family dynamics and carefully concealed secrets drive this gripping stand-alone.” —Publishers Weekly

Come Home held me spellbound.” —Janet Evanovich

“A gripping and compelling novel...Scottoline gets all the details right, and gives all the characters flesh and blood, breath and life. This is a novel that is as full of thrills as it is full of heart.” —Kristin Hannah

New York Times bestselling author of Heart of the Emily Giffin

Powerful, provocative, and page-turning!
Library Journal
Pediatrician Jill Farrow lives an ordinary suburban life with her 13-year-old daughter, supportive fiancé, and well-fed golden retriever until a midnight visitor turns her idyllic life upside down. Jill's ex-stepdaughter Abby arrives with the news that Jill's ex-husband, William, is dead and she suspects foul play. Despite distaste for her ex and a three-year estrangement from her two stepdaughters, Jill begins investigating William's death to help Abby obtain closure. Fueled by her strong maternal instincts, Abby's quest for the truth propels her into a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase that risks her closest relationships and threatens her life. VERDICT Scottoline (Save Me; Look Again) deftly speeds readers through a dizzying labyrinth of intrigue with more hairpin turns and heart-pounding drops than a theme-park ride. This thrilling testament to a mother's relentless love may well be Scottoline's best novel to date. Her many fans and other mystery/thriller aficionados will want to read it. [300,000-copy first printing; national tour; see Prepub Alert, 10/31/11.]—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Kirkus Reviews
Another stand-alone suspenser that rams home the point that there's no such thing as an ex-mother. Pharmaceutical rep William Skyler blamed his divorce on his wife, Dr. Jill Farrow. He told his daughters, Victoria and Abby, that Jill had cheated on him and forbade them to keep in touch with her or her own daughter Megan. Now, three years later, William is dead, overdosed on prescription medications Abby is convinced he didn't take himself. What's Jill supposed to do when Abby drives unannounced to the home she shares with diabetes researcher Sam Becker, drunk, weeping hysterically and begging for help? Nothing, maintains Sam, who tells Jill that she's choosing continuing loyalty to Abby (and to Victoria, who makes it witheringly clear at William's funeral that she still wants nothing to do with Jill) over her commitment to him and his son Steven. Nothing, say the Philadelphia police, who insist that William's death was no homicide. Nothing, Jill's penny-pinching medical-practice manager Sheryl Ewing says--or would surely say if Jill, already playing out a losing hand in office politics, ever brought it up to her. Naturally, Jill, protesting, "What's a mother, or a stepmother?...Isn't it forever?," takes it upon herself to investigate anyway. Scottoline backs her increasingly beset supermom ("It wasn't a juggling act, it was a magic act") into sleuthing mode with practiced expertise, giving her exactly the right motivations and qualifications for the specific questions she asks. And there'll be a lump in every throat when Abby disappears and when Jill fights to diagnose a baby who keeps getting ear infections. As usual with Scottoline, though, the complications are a lot more satisfying than the windup, in which reason and plausibility take a back seat to tearful family affirmations. Connoisseurs of mother love imperiled will prefer Save Me (2011). But it would be a mistake to count Scottoline out; she's sure to be back next year with another dose that might be even more potent.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Jill stopped on the stairway, listening. She thought she heard a voice calling her from outside, but she’d been wrong before. It was probably the rushing of the rain, or the lash of the wind through the trees. Still, she listened, hoping.
“Babe?” Sam paused on the stair, resting his hand on the banister. He looked back at her, his eyes a puzzled blue behind his glasses. “Did you forget your phone?”
“No, I thought I heard something.” Jill didn’t elaborate. She was in her forties, old enough to have a past and wise enough to keep her thoughts about it to herself.
“What?” Sam asked, patiently. It was almost midnight, and they’d been on their way to bed. The house was dark except for the glass fixture above the stairwell, and the silvery strands in Sam’s thick, dark hair glinted in the low light. Their chubby golden retriever, Beef, was already upstairs, looking down at them from the landing, his buttery ears falling forward.
“It’s nothing, I guess.” Jill started back up the stairs, but Beef swung his head toward the front of the house and gave an excited bark. His tail started to wag, and Jill turned, too, listening again.
Jill! Jill!
“It’s Abby!” Jill heard it for sure, this time. The cry resonated in her chest, speaking directly to her heart. She turned around and hurried for the entrance hall, and Beef scampered downstairs after her, his heavy butt getting ahead of him, like a runaway tractor-trailer.
“Abby who?” Sam called after her. “Your ex’s kid?”
“Yes.” Jill reached the front door, twisted the deadbolt, flicked on the porch light, and threw open the door. Abby wasn’t there, and Jill didn’t see her because it was so dark. There were no streetlights at this end of the block, and the rain obliterated the outlines of the houses and cars, graying out the suburban scene. Suddenly, a black SUV with only one headlight drove past, spotlighting a silhouette that Jill would know anywhere. It was Abby, but she was staggering down the sidewalk as if she’d been injured.
“Sam, call 911!” Jill bolted out of the house and into the storm, diagnosing Abby on the fly. It could have been a hit-and-run, or an aneurysm. Not a stroke, Abby was too young. Not a gunshot or stab wound, in this neighborhood.
Jill tore through the rain. Beef bounded ahead, barking in alarm. The neighbor’s motion-detector went on, casting a halo of light on their front lawn. Abby stumbled off the sidewalk. Her purse slipped from her shoulder and dropped to the ground. Abby took a few more faltering steps, then collapsed, crumpling to the grass.
“Abby!” Jill screamed, sprinting to Abby’s side, kneeling down. Abby was conscious, but crying. Jill reached for her pulse and scanned her head and body for signs of injury, and there were none. Rainwater covered Abby’s face, streaking her mascara and blackening her tears. Her hair stuck to her neck, and rain plastered her thin sundress to her body. Her pulse felt strong and steady, bewildering Jill. “Abby, Abby, what is it?”
“You have to … hold me.” Abby raised her arms. “Please.”
Jill gathered Abby close, shielding her from the rain. She’d held Abby so many times before, and all the times rushed back at her, as if her very body had stored the memories, until that very moment. Jill flashed on the time Abby had fallen off her Rollerblades, breaking an ankle. Then the time Abby had gotten a C on her trig final. The time she didn’t get picked for the travel soccer team. Abby had always been a sensitive little girl, but she wasn’t a little girl anymore, and Jill had never seen her cry so hard.
“Abby, honey, please, tell me, and I can help.”
“I can’t say it … it’s so awful.” Abby sobbed, and Jill caught a distinct whiff of alcohol on her breath and came up to speed. Abby wasn’t injured, she’d been drinking. Jill hadn’t seen her in three years, and Abby had grown up; she’d be nineteen now. Abby sobbed harder. “Jill, Dad’s dead … he’s dead.”
What?” Jill gasped, shocked. Her ex-husband was in excellent health, still in his forties. “How?”
“Somebody … killed him.” Abby dissolved into tears, her body going limp, clinging to Jill. “Please, you have to … help me. I have to find out … who did it.”
Jill hugged her closer, feeling her grief and struggling to process what had happened. She couldn’t imagine William as a murder victim, or a victim of any kind, for that matter, but her first thought was of his daughters, Abby and Victoria, and her own daughter, Megan. The news would devastate all of them, Megan included. William was her stepfather, but the only father she’d ever known. Her real father had died before she was born.
“Babe, what are you doing? Let’s get her into the house!” Sam shouted, to be heard over the rain. He was kneeling on Abby’s other side, though Jill didn’t know when he’d gotten there.
“William’s been murdered,” Jill told him, sounding numb, even to herself.
“I heard. We’re not calling 911, she’s just drunk.” Sam squinted against the brightness of the motion-detector light. Raindrops soaked his hair and dappled his polo shirt. “Let me take her arm. Lift her on one, two, three,” he counted off, tugging Abby’s arm.
“Okay, go.” Jill took Abby’s other arm, and together they hoisted her, sobbing, to her feet, gathered her purse, and half walked and half carried her toward the house, sloshing through the grass, with Beef at their heels.
Jill tried to collect her thoughts, which were in turmoil. She’d always dreamed of seeing Abby again, but not in these circumstances, and she dreaded telling Megan about William. But as agonized as she felt for the girls, Jill wouldn’t shed a tear for her ex-husband. There was a reason she had divorced the man, and it was a whopper.
And evidently, not only the good died young.

Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Scottoline

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award--winning author of eighteen novels. She has served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America and her recent novel Look Again has been optioned for a feature film. She is a weekly columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and her columns have been collected in two books and optioned for television. She has 25 million copies of her books in print in the United States, and she has been published in thirty countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets.

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Look Again, Lady Killer, Think Twice, Save Me and Everywhere That Mary Went. She also writes a weekly column, “Chick Wit,” with her daughter Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The columns have been collected in Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog and My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. She has won an Edgar® Award and Cosmopolitan magazine’s “Fun Fearless Fiction” Award, and she is the president of Mystery Writers of America. She teaches a course on justice and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.

Brief Biography

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth:
July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Come Home 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 148 reviews.
simple344 More than 1 year ago
I've read many books by this author, so naturally had to get the this book. Engaging Quick Read!
MysteryLover14 More than 1 year ago
I always pre-order any book by Ms. Scottoline. I have read almost all her books -- This one, however, proved to be a disappointment. When there were about 100 pages left, I almost set the book aside. I was frankly just tired of waiting for something to start. Then, within those last pages, Lisa threw in all the resolutions to the various plots and subplots, Much of it seemed far-fetched and contrived --- I didn't believe her being a doctor -- she didn't truly seem devoted to her career. I have seen in print, this book referred to as a thriller. It is in no way a thriller. And, it definitely lacks what I've seen as Lisa's skill in mystery writing. I miss Bennie Rosato and the girls and those mysteries. Lisa, please return to your true talent as a mystery writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was very disappointed in this latest book by Lisa Scottoline. It was not up to her usual novels and I had a tough time getting through it. The main character was very unlikeable. Anyone who is a fan of Lisa Scottoline's book and has been eagerly awaiting this book will be just as disappointed as I was
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
Did not care for this book – very slow, long and drawn out! The whining drove me nuts on the audio and could not wait for it to end. Would not recommend! Jill is about to remarry and her ex-stepdaughter shows up stating Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees and opens up a world she did not know from her ex-husband’s life and gets in the middle of the downfall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read......but please bring back Bennie, Mary, and the gang back as soon as you can! They have become like family. I KNOW you like to be challenged by new characters......and I have enjoyed them all, but Bennie and her team have a lot of good stories left for you to tell!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is different from Lisa Scottoline's earlier novels but highly interesting. I could not put this book down. She gives new insight to being a mother and step-mother together with some legal action toward the end of the book. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So simplistic, such an utterly dilikable protagonist, characters not fleshed out i wanted to quit reading but i paid for the book and presumed it had to get better. it didn't. This woman would have been dead fifteen times. The author made jill smarter than the fbi and the cia and the police and she was a pediatrician also. Do not buy this book unless you enjoy being irritated
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good Job & good storyline. I enjoyed this so much. It held my attention and I wanted to see what was going to happen so kept reading. The author took time to develop the characters very well, no rushing...so by time the story was over you felt like they were family. I'd recommend it, worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously...... I was on edge from the very beginning of this book. I loved it and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a suspenseful novel with a touch of heartfelt drama and heartpounding twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different from Scottoline's other books. Overall book was good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this book and have decided to read some other books by this author. Lots of twists and turns to keep you interested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time I read a book by this author. Was so nice to read a book without bad language & sex! Am looking forward to reading more by Lisa Scottoline! Would recommend to everyone!
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Let’s state from the very first: This is a potboiler of a novel. It reads more like the script for a soap opera. It can’t make up its mind whether it’s a murder mystery, criminal investigation, or family saga. It shifts from one element to another without much consistency. The plot involves Dr. Jill Farrow, a pediatrician with a 13-year-old daughter by her deceased first husband, divorced from her second husband with no contact with his two college-age daughters, and living with Sam Becker, about to become her third mate, who has a grown-up son living in Texas. Then one of her ex-stepdaughters shows up informing her that her ex is dead and that she suspects murder. This sets off a series of situations in which Dr. Farrow investigates the possibility of foul play. Meanwhile, interjected in the plot are various family problems, misunderstandings and crises. There are a number of inaccuracies in the story, as well, but they can’t be cited without disclosing plot details. I guess a lot of tightening could have averted some of the over-plotting. The author certainly can write. But sometimes mommy doesn’t know best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to force myself to read this book. The characters were boring. The entire book was boring. I feel cheated because I paid $30 for this book.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Do we ever stop being a mother to our children? For Jill being a mother doesn’t have a time clock or a switch to turn off even after a divorce. So when Abby, the stepdaughter she thought was lost to her when her marriage fell apart comes crashing into her home Jill never hesitates to open the door. The man she is about to marry is not as thrilled with the baggage from a prior marriage invading their space, but realizes this part of her past overlays the present. Jill tries to piece the bits of information Abby is explaining about Jill’s ex-husbands death. It has been ruled a suicide but Abby believes that it was murder and her case may be wrecked with emotional outbursts but the facts seem to be strong. Jill should stay out of it and manage her own daughter’s life but a mother never walks away from a child in need regardless of whether they are tied by blood or not. Abby pulls Jill into the tangled web of deception that was the man she thought she loved life. Her ex-husband was always under the radar pulling one swindle after another but the one that may have cost him everything was a house built on a very fine paper trail. Jill pulls fact from all the fiction trying to involve the authorities who just won’t buy into her hypothesis, even one well construed. Lisa Scottoline knows how to write a story will be pull you in emotionally and keep you riveted to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Engaging and a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure I totally believed the password crack but a great book none the less
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great fast paced mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Toooo good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago