most wanted book coverReviewed by Meredith Kelly

Marcus and Christine Nilsson were a normal couple living in suburban Connecticut. They led active lives and loved the work they were doing. Life was idyllic except for the fact that she could not become pregnant. After many years of trying they found sperm donor “3319” and after fertilization Christine became pregnant within two months. The only thing they knew about this donor came from a brief biography and two pictures of him–one as a child and another as an adult.

The day Christine was leaving her job to become a full time mother she saw a brief news clip on CNN about someone who was just arrested for killing a woman in the Philadelphia area and possibly in two other states. She wouldn’t have thought twice about it except when she saw his picture on air a chill went through her. She thought he could possibly be the sperm donor. Could she be carrying his child?

Not knowing what to do and getting no help from the clinic where the procedure took place, Christine and Marcus sued them to get the name of the donor or to at least verify that it was 3319 ‘s sperm that impregnated her. Christine badly needed answers so she concocted a plan to visit 3319 in jail and pretend to be a reporter. All she needed to know was whether or not he really killed those women.

To her surprise, 3319 was quite charming and at the end of the visit even had Christine believing that he was innocent. Christine was so convinced that she even found him a defense lawyer and almost agreed to pay half the lawyer’s retainer fee.

Most Wanted was a quickly paced novel with many good psychological questions. What if 3319 is a murderer? What if the baby is his…what happens then? Is a baby’s psyche nurture or nature driven? Should Christine continue to bear a possible murderer’s child? These and many other questions were raised as the book climbed to its dramatic conclusion.

Fans of Jody Picoult will love this book as it is very similar to her other novels dealing with polarizing issues involving ordinary people making moral and ethical choices. I enjoyed the book very much for its interesting subject. It did, however, get a little silly when Christine became an “amateur sleuth”. All in all, Most Wanted would be a good choice for book groups who enjoy easy reading.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meredith has been an avid reader since childhood and loves to talk about books. A bit of a Luddite, she has only recently become acquainted with E-Reading and online book reviews. She finds exposure to such a wide audience of opinion on books fascinating.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.