When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.
However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident.
In the beginning moments of Don’t Go, we watch Chloe struggling to crawl across the room, aware that she is bleeding out from an accidental self-inflicted stab wound. Just when she is almost at the door, it opens. And then someone closes the door and walks away.
Fast forward to Afghanistan, where Dr. Mike has received the news of his wife’s death. In the following week, he returns home, attends his wife’s funeral, and realizes that his daughter Emily does not know him. In fact, she cries and throws fits whenever he comes near her.
Back and forth between the home and the war front, Mike battles for what matters most to him. His wife’s sister Danielle and her husband Bob, a lawyer, take temporary custody of Emily when Mike returns to the battle. But after he is finally discharged, with an amputated arm lost in battle, he is stunned at what happens next.
Why do Bob and Danielle take drastic actions to keep Emily from Mike? How does the murder of Chloe’s best friend Sara figure into the plot and turn Mike onto an obsessive path that could ultimately be to his detriment?
It was easy to find characters to hate in this story. Both Bob and Danielle were annoying beyond belief, in my opinion. Pompous and self-righteous…I wondered if there was more going on with them. And behind every suburban door, something ominous seemed to lurk. How would Mike finally solve the mysteries and unearth all the secrets? In the end, I thought the story wrapped up too tidily…but by then, I really wanted all the answers. And because I couldn’t stop rapidly turning pages, this one earned five stars from me.