Bonnie Jack

House of Anansi. Jun. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781487007089. pap. $17.95. F
Shrewd, obsessive business tycoon “Bloody” Jack Anderson is entering his sunset years. He has many fears: losing control, missing out, facing the vast oceans of peace and repose that await him in retirement and threaten endless rumination. Abandoned by his mother in a Glasgow movie theater, he was adopted by an American family who provided him the cultural capital to become successful. Jack and his wife Anne leave the comfortable Boston suburbs for the ancient environs of Scotland, in search of answers and Jack’s biological sister. He discovers biological siblings and extended family, some of whom are poorer than he and challenge his meritocracy-based worldview. Family trauma and healthy and unhealthy relationships weave together in this stand-alone by Hamilton (“Ava Lee” series). It’s a combination of a rags-to-riches tale, rebirth story, reversal of fortune, and confronting-a-monster (Jack’s violent birth father) story. Subthemes about the duality of human nature and siblings’ differing memories of a parent keep the plot going.
VERDICT Mystery fans will enjoy the twists and turns of this engaging tale about what money can and can’t buy.
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