Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Cinderella Murders by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burk

Image result for mary higgins clark cinderella murdersIn her last book, Mary Higgins Clark introduced readers to Laurie Moran, whose idea for a television series which re-examines cold cases has become a reality.  In I GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN,  not only was a twenty year murder solved but so was the murder of Laurie's husband.  Now Higgins Clark is co-authoring a series of books featuring Laurie and her successful television program.  THE CINDERELLA MURDERS focuses on another murder over two decades old.  Moran has been contacted by Susan Dempsey's mother with a plea to finally find her coed daughter's killer.  As Laurie and her crew begin to interview Susan's former roommates and college friends, there appear to be several who have secrets they are unwilling to share. One roommate may have gotten her big acting break simply because Susan didn't show up for an audition the night she was murdered.  Mrs. Dempsey has always felt Susan's longtime boyfriend, and known cheater, was involved in the death. And Susan's best friend virtually disappeared from Southern California within weeks after the funeral. Then there is the computer geek who left school and launched a successful dot.net right after the murder.  Did his success have something to do with the program Susan was working on?  When a neighbor of Mrs. Dempsey's is found dead, Laurie's retired police officer father fears his daughter may placing everyone in the show in danger.

In a style similar to I GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN, readers are introduced to a parade of characters, most of them possible suspects as they reveal the tiniest bits of the past.  Someone begins to follow the television crew and even a few of the interviewees.  While I liked this book, I was never on the edge.  Usually when I read a Mary Higgins Clark book, I need to read it cover to cover in a VERY SHORT time. This series is definitely lighter in tone, more mild mystery than thriller.  This one I set aside for several days and never quite felt the rush I associate with Higgins Clark. I had picked the murderer quite early, although I wasn't sure of a motive until the end.  I like the developing story around Laurie, her son, her dad, and the person (Alex??) who has fallen in love with her, so I will probably read the next installment.

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