Review

You Don't Want to Know

by Lisa Jackson

Ava Garrison is doing her best to hold it all together, but try as she might, she feels that she's failing miserably. After spending the last few years in and out of mental hospitals in and around Seattle, Washington, Ava is back home and ready to do battle, if only she can dig deep enough to find her inner strength.

After her two-year-old son, Noah, disappeared from her house during a party, Ava suffered a mental breakdown that left her shaky, unsure of herself and her sanity. Unable to recall the events surrounding his disappearance, she is determined to get to the bottom of the tragic incident and, with any luck, find her missing son.

"YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW is an artfully written story of suspense that reminds me of the best-of-the-best of gothic novels during their heyday.... Lisa Jackson brings a twist of modernity to the story, making it a novel that combines the best of the old and the new into a story that any reader will want to savor as long as possible to keep it from ending."

While returning to the family home (Neptune's Gate, situated on Church Island) should have provided Ava with the support system she needs to heal herself, that's simply not the case. Rather than finding comfort at home, Ava finds herself filled with suspicion and distrust of those nearest and dearest to her. Rather than finding a refuge, Ava finds Neptune's Gate to more closely resemble a prison.

Since the night Noah disappeared, Ava's marriage to her husband, Wyatt, has deteriorated until he seems like a stranger to her. Unable to follow his advice to leave the past alone, Ava finds herself constantly at odds with the man who should be trying to help her solve these unrelenting mysteries.

Ava's cousin, Jewel-Anne, is another player in the drama that surrounds Neptune's Gate. Confined to a wheelchair since a boating accident crippled her, she is bitter and vengeful. Determined to blame Ava for the predicament in which she has found herself, Jewel-Anne creeps around the estate listening through keyholes and spreading malice as often as possible.

Another fractured relationship surrounds Ava's old friend, Khloe. Khloe was engaged to Ava's brother Kelvin before he was killed in the boating accident that claimed Jewel-Anne's mobility. Khloe was also little Noah's nanny. Now, rather than being Ava's confidante, Khloe seems to be in on the secrets that the family is determined to keep from Ava.

As if it wasn't enough to deal with the secretive members of her inner circle, Ava must tolerate the presence of a new handyman, Austin Dern. Ordinarily, Austin wouldn't register on Ava's radar when she's so busy trying to put her life back together, but his presence has an unsettling effect on her to the point where the sexy man of mystery invades her thoughts and dreams. Is he really just another employee, or does he have a hidden agenda that is at odds with Ava's goals?

YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW is an artfully written story of suspense that reminds me of the best-of-the-best of gothic novels during their heyday. That being said, Lisa Jackson brings a twist of modernity to the story, making it a novel that combines the best of the old and the new into a story that any reader will want to savor as long as possible to keep it from ending.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on August 10, 2012

You Don't Want to Know
by Lisa Jackson