Wow. I picked up The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke years ago, but I only got around to reading it recently. (Because I’m a book-bear…)
Let me tell you, *cue the Stefon voice* it has everything:
- A suspicious “church”
- Reality television
- Secrets and conspiracy
- A little romance…
I thoroughly enjoyed the book–my only complaint was that it was so filled with detail and the plot kept thickening that sometimes I had to put it down just to process what was happening in the story. That said, I had to constantly pick it right back up because I needed to know what happened next!
Normally, I’m not a fan of constant focalization changes in literature because sometimes it’s hard for me to keep track of who’s perspective I’m reading from, but Higgins Clark and Burke use it artfully to tell this multifaceted story. Without the different perspectives, it would be difficult to really get a sense of the original murder case itself in addition to the investigation (and subsequent murders) that follow twenty years later.
As part of the “Under Suspicion” series (I accidentally started with the second one…oops), we follow Laurie Moran, a television producer, and her team as they investigate cold cases for their reality show. This novel tackles the case of the, you guessed it, “Cinderella murder” near UCLA in the 1990s, when student/aspiring actress/computer-coder Susan Dempsey was murdered! The whole novel has small plot-twists throughout to keep you guessing what happens–I know I didn’t guess the killer.
While the plot was certainly intriguing, I think I was most drawn in by the characters. I feel I tend to gravitate more toward character-driven stories and this one did not disappoint. Though their descriptions and dialogue with each other I was able to get a sense of who they were and what they were like. Even Susan–who’s dead for most of the book, but we do read of a few conversations as other characters reminisce–seems just about as vivid as any of the other characters.
Overall, I would recommend this novel if you’re one for suspense, it was fun to read and difficult to put down!
For my next blog, I’ll be switching temporal gears a little and take a look at The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. I’ve always been a fan of Austen’s work, so now it will be interesting to see what she’ll be like on the page rather than behind it.
If you have a book I should read, please let me know via the contact page and I’ll add it to my list!