Don’t Ask, Don’t Follow
June 12, 2024

Book Review

Don’t Ask, Don’t Follow

reviewed by Carolyn Scott


Beth Ralston, daughter of a lawyer, is a paralegal at her father’s law firm in Portland, Oregon. Despite, the long hours and hard work, she gets on well with Craig, the young associate lawyer she’s been assigned to and enjoys working with him. Although her father has been trying to persuade her to attend law school, she is still debating whether this is what she wants to do with her life.

Heading back to her office after an office party, she sees someone who looks very much like her journalist sister Lindsay coming out of Craig’s office but the woman doesn’t stop when Beth calls her name. Later, she calls in to Craig’s office, only to find him dead at his desk.

Despite Lindsay being a few years older than Beth, the sisters have always been close, although Lindsay would often disappear for days at a time, chasing a story without telling anyone where she is. She has always been passionate about saving the planet and fighting injustice, making a name for herself as an investigative journalist. Unable to find Lindsay after the party, Beth is convinced she was working on something with Craig and has gone into hiding to protect herself from danger. Despite receiving a message from Lindsay, ‘Don’t ask, don’t follow,’ Beth decides to follow the breadcrumbs left in the wake of Lindsay’s latest investigation. What she discovers is more shocking than she could have ever imagined.

This is a smart and complex thriller combining a dysfunctional family with deeply hidden secrets with a tale of corruption and greed. Starting off with a punch with a dramatic murder in a work, it’s followed by a slower build-up of suspense as Beth follows her nose to uncover the shocking secrets and uncomfortable truths her sister has been investigating, then culminates with some unexpected twists in an explosive climax. Beth is a strong character driven by her fierce loyalty to her sister. She is determined to find out the truth, despite her disengaged mother, who never wants to face up to anything distasteful and her father who puts his campaign to be elected mayor ahead of his family. A range of secondary characters add colour and flavour to the plot as Beth visits the seedier side of town. Narrated from Beth’s point of view, this works well to quickly hook in the reader and deliver an absorbing mystery.

With thanks to Oceanview Publishing via Netgalley for a copy to read.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Follow available at:

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