Sunday, January 18, 2015

I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark

I've Got You Under My Skin, by Mary Higgins ClarkLaurie Moran has tried to build a life for herself and her son after her husband's brutal murder several years earlier.  That her son, then only three, witnessed the shooting and heard the attacker yell that he would be next, then his mother leaves a sense of imminent danger that will not fade.  Laurie's father, retired from his job as a police detective to protect the young family, is very uneasy when Laurie announces that she will be directing a new reality show which examines cold cases.

The first show will feature a twenty year old murder case, known to the press as The Graduation Murders.  Four friends had celebrated their college graduations together at the home of socialite Betsy Powell and her wealthy husband, only to awake the next morning to the screams of the housekeeper who had discovered Betsy's dead body.  For twenty years each girl has lived under suspicion and even Powell himself feels he remains a suspect.  All gather together at the Powell mansion along with the television crew.  Laurie's father fears that the publicity of this show may prompt Moran's killer to carry out his threat despite his absence for five years.

I used to grab every Mary Higgins Clark book as soon as they hit the library shelves, but have missed a couple in the past few years.  When I saw the this one sitting on display, I could not resist and I am glad I didn't.  It appears that Laurie Moran may show up in future books written by Clark with a co-writer.  Clark usually writes with multiple points of view, and like many thriller writers, relies on a making the villain an anonymous narrator whose demented mental state adds tension, mystery and fear to the story.  This book reads a little differently.  We soon find out that each of the college girls had a reason to hate Betsy Powell and each is a little foggy about what they did the night of the party. For the past twenty years, each has hidden a secret fear that she may have murdered Betsy and not remembered it.  Like readers of Agatha Christy stories, readers will be piecing the bits together to solve the mystery. Soon, we'll know that the four girls are not Betsy's only enemies. Meanwhile, Laurie, so caught up in the twenty year old cold case, doesn't realize that other danger is just steps away.

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