This is the first book of a new series, which the Queen of Suspense wrote with co-author Alafair Burke. I can´t say which parts are written by Mary Higgins Clark and which one by her co-author, but one thing is clear: it seems to have been a good idea of MHC´s publisher to bring a second author on board. Alafair Burke is an author I never heard of nor read anything before. But that doesn´t mean anything because there are a lot of authors out there I never read or heard of. 

The Cinderella Murder*
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
Under Suspicion Series #2
Publisher Simon & Schuster on November 18, 2014
Genre Thriller
Pages 320
Format Hardcover
Source Library

Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program – a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes, by recreating them with those affected – is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode. Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition, she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming-director? Why does Susan´s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered? With the help of the lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood´s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen – but is Cinderella´s murderer ready for a close-up?
Laurie Moran gets the go from her boss to start the second show of her very successful first TV production Under Suspicion. Now she wants to feature another cold case in her show and in California she gets all those affected together and even more. But when one of her crew members is attacked and one gets killed, she knows that the real killer is still trying to cover its tracks. But Laurie is not the kind of person who gives up so easily. She wants to find the truth, not at all costs, but if she can find a way to make it possible to give the loved ones who were left behind a bit peace, she does what she can.

A decent writing style in combination with great psychological finesse – that´s what Mary Higgins Clark is famous for. This new book shows not only that but a fresh style as well and it works out great. The tone is kind of swinging, not too much, but enough to catch the reader and its full attention. 

The Cinderella Murder is one great thriller where you come in touch again with Laurie, her wonderful son Timmy, her father Leo and Alex. No doubt, you can read this book without knowing I´ve Got You Under My Skin (where we met Laurie and her little family for the first time), but I recommend to read that one first if you want to get the full picture. In "The Cinderella Murder" are quite often scenes where the author brings up things that had happened in the other book. And some of those things are kind of important one way or the other. Written in the personal narrative perspective you see how Laurie´s life looks now, how the things of the past still affect her life and that of her son Timmy. But there is no darkness anymore. As a matter of fact, Timmy has a great way of using his bad experience to help his grandfather to see things from a different perspective. And he is very positive about that. 

As always, the author doesn´t give you a huge character description at once. In fact, she lets the reader see her figures through little pieces she puts into the ongoing plot. A wonderful way to let the reader imagine a lot of things himself but also to get everything that is important bit by bit.

Laurie Moran is quite familiar to Mary Higgins Clark fans as she is the main figure from I´ve Got You Under My Skin. In that book, she was frightened and very overprotective when it came to her son. That has changed now. She still doesn´t want her son to come too much in touch with her work, with the dark side of humankind, but it is incredible to see how Timmy is dealing with all of it. He is a remarkable young boy, sees things others don´t (in a very good way) and for him, only one thing is important: that his mother can be his mother no matter where her job leads her. 

I found it quite fun to watch Timmy, to see how he enjoyed every minute in this thriller, what he says, how he says it and what he has become. He is one heck of a fantastic boy!

I really enjoyed reading it. And although I know the rules when it comes to thriller/crime and where the evil is, I didn´t see it coming until the end. So yes, this thriller is haunting, fascinating, and big entertainment. For every MHC fan, a big must, for the rest a good recommendation.

Happy reading

*I read the German new release edition March 21, 2016, by Heyne

Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark ©Gunther Glücklich

Mary Higgins Clark, born in 1928 in New York, lived and worked in Saddle River, New Jersey. She sold her first story 1956 for $100 to a magazine. After the sudden death of her husband in 1964, she wrote her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington. Her first suspense novel Where are the Children from 1975 meant a turning point in her life and career: He became a bestseller. She is #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-four suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel; two children´s books; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone. She is the most successful thriller author worldwide.

Alafair Burke
Alafair Burke ©Deborah Copaken

Alafair Burke is the daughter of James Lee Burke and the youngest of four children. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon. Now she works as a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure. She lives with Sean and their dogs in Manhattan. 



  1. I really liked the concept of this book and more than that it sounds like a really great read. I'm definitely putting this on my TBR!


Note: By submitting your commentar, you accept that the comment you write, and the personal information associated with it (e.g. username, email address, linked profile on Google/Wordpress) will be transmitted to Google servers. You can find more information in my privacy policy and in Google´s Privacy Policy.

Hinweis: Mit dem Abschicken deines Kommentars akzeptierst du, dass der von dir geschriebene Kommentar und die personenbezogenen Daten, die damit verbunden sind (z.B. Username, E-Mail-Adresse, verknüpftes Profil auf Google/Wordpress) an Google-Server übermittelt werden. Weitere Informationen dazu findest du in meiner Datenschutzerklärung und in der Datenschutzerklärung von Google.