Book Review – Do Not Ask

by Elaine Williams Crockett

Average rating (all reviews) :


2 Blogger Reviews

Dianne James Book Blogger
 Joni Dee
Thriller Author, BookGobbler Admin
 Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader
 Jordan Armstrong
BookGobbler Reader
Shrabastee Chakraborty
BookGobbler Reader



Book Review by Joni Dee User Sign Up

A Good Thriller Which Will Make You Bite Your Nails.

“Do Not Ask” by Elaine Williams Crockett is the second book featuring Judge Warren Alexander, a former FBI agent who is now a Supreme Court Justice. Let me start by saying that this novel can be read as a standalone, and I felt no need to read the former book “Do Not Assume” in order to understand what’s going on, which was a very good start, ‘in my book’.

I have been searching for a good political related thriller, and I must first state that despite its problems, “Do Not Ask” has a fresh take on things, ditching the norm of an investigating agent/officer/spy. I found this refreshing, and I even learned to embrace the changeovers between the omnipotent narrator and Alexander’s own perspective, narrated by himself.


Justice Warren Alexander is being asked to help investigate the disappearance (and possible murder) of the president’s twin daughters, who had a casual affair with his promiscuous skirt-chaser son-in-law and old college buddy – Davis Rideout. At the same time, his legal aid Lilly had disappeared, all evidence pointing at Justice A himself. The entire plot revolves around Davis’ riverside country estate-mansion “Blackhall” which is engulfed in mystery due to the suicide of Josephine Rideout, sometime in the 19th century.

I can go on with the plot, but the novel takes you through many characters, the author dispersing so many misleading clues from one to the other, that anything above my brief intro will spoil it. Once you accepted that Justice A does things in an unorthodox way, insisting on being both an FBI agent, a defence attorney and a judge (I seriously doubt anyone would risk his prestigious justice position/reputation like him) – then you really grow fond of him.
As stated above, Ms. Crockett does well to shift the suspicion from one character to the other, and up until the end – you would suspect someone else, who may or may not be the eventual culprit. I normally get this right from the first few chapter, so hat’s off and great job!


The novel is not without flaws, which for me – meant it could have been a real smash otherwise. These start to emerge around half way through, and comprise from small problems with details, characters which supposedly play a big role but aren’t deep enough and then this plot-line is neglected (such as the role of The National Adviser to the president), too much information on late-introduced character (such as an art collector, who should have been introduced much sooner).

In more than one occasions it seemed like new material is introduce to fit the author’s ultimate conclusion, rather than introduce these sooner and let us – the readers – have a crack at solving the case ourselves.


Despite these issues, I was biting my nails as I wanted to see who is the culprit, so I must say Ms. Crockett did a very good job as a suspense author. At the end of the day, a novel – especially a  thriller – is measured by whether the reader enjoyed it or not, and I full-mouthed say that I enjoyed it. It made me want to read the previous Judge Alexander novel.

The reviewer is the author of “And the Wolf Shall Dwell“, a political-spy thriller.

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James User Sign Up

I Loved It! It Kept Me on the Edge of My Seat…

The President’s twin daughters disappear sparking an FBI investigation. Supreme Court Justice Warren Alexander, a former FBI agent, gets involved in the investigation and when his law clerk also disappears, he is convinced the two cases are connected.
The three bodies are all found at Blackhall, the family estate of his son in law, Davis Rideout.

This story has it all; sex, politics, blackmail and murder. It’s a twisty legal thriller, an intriguing murder investigation, and in the background, the dark family history surrounding Blackhall.

It is a gripping tale that will definitely grab you right at the start and hold you enthralled till the end. The characters are well developed and the plot is cleverly constructed, providing plenty of unexpected surprises. The author’s writing style is straight forward and unemotional, totally appropriate to the story, and the scientific details of DNA are clearly explained so as to be understandable even to my unscientific brain.

I loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat and the journey to the truth excited me every step of the way. It’s a great read in every sense and I highly recommend it.

Originally posted on “Once Upon a Place” Blog
Dianne is running the book review blog Novel Experiences


Book Review by Jordan Armstrong User Sign Up

I Absolutely Loved This Book.

“Do Not Ask” is a fast paced crime/legal thriller that I just couldn’t seem to put down! The numerous twists and turns kept you guessing right to the very end. The detail in the entire book really helped to immerse the reader into the story.


As this is the second book, it was not necessary to read the one that proceeds it (although I can’t wait to read ‘Do Not Assume’). The characters were well developed and the back story from the first book was mentioned in enough detail to keep the reader informed without ruining the first book. The plot of the story flowed well, and was very realistic.


This was my first book by Elaine Williams Crockett, but it definitely will not be the last; bring on ‘Do Not Assume’! Thanks again for the book!


  Book Review by Shrabastee Chakraborty
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A Gripping Tale with Layers after Layers of Mystery

“Do Not Ask’ by Elaine Williams Crockett is the second book of the series featuring Justice Warren Alexander. However, the reader does not need to read the first book in order to enjoy the second one. And enjoyable it is, indeed!
The President’s twin daughters are missing. Are they innocent victims of a hideous crime, or is there more to them than meets the eye? The plot thickens when Justice Alexander’s law clerk goes missing, too. Are the two crimes linked? Is there a serial killer on the loose? The FBI incriminates the old caretaker of Blackhall Manor, where all three bodies are eventually found. Is the owner of the manor – who is also the philandering ex-roommate-cum-son-in-law of the Justice – involved in some way? Then why do all evidences point to the Justice himself as the prime suspect for the murder of his law clerk?


What if all the theories are wrong, and a vengeful spirit from the past is actually behind the crimes, as the Justice’s daughter believes?
All these questions are answered as the plot gradually builds up to reach the climax. Several twists in the plot prove that everything is not as simple as it apparently seems. The moment we think we have got it, yet another mystery unravels and stumps us. The pace steadily uphill, the story never dull, once I started the book, I felt compelled to finish.


The character portrayals are beautiful. The President’s anguish over his lost daughters; the protagonist’s concern for his own daughter’s well-being and safety; the caretaker’s sense of loyalty; the son-in-law’s love for the caretaker, who was also his childhood refuge- are a few of the instances which show us the brighter sides of human nature and relations. On the other hand, dark undertones in the characters of outwardly distinguished persons are revealed as the mysteries gradually unfold.


Abduction, murders, extramarital affairs, devious schemes, betrayals, suspense, a tinge of supernatural- this book has got the entire package and should be a ‘must read’ for all thriller-lovers.

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