Friday, December 30, 2016

The Cinderella Murder - Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Mary Higgins Clark

Alafair Burke

So this is the final book of the year and I read only four. Very unlikely of me. Last year, it was 30 books.

But I hope, next year would be different and I am happy that I chose Mary Higgins Clark to end this year with.

We will now move to the story review.

Susan Dempsey was a young girl who wanted to make it big as an actor. Definitely, she had the looks and the talents to make it to the league and finally, the D-day had arrived. She was thrilled to get an audition for a role in a film which was to be directed by Frank Parker. Susan was excited to the core and called her mother to inform that due to the audition she would not be able to attend her father’s birthday party.

But much to her parents’ shock, the next morning, young Susan was found murdered in a park, not too far away from the Director, Frank Parker’s house. Though Parker came under the scanner of the police, there was no substantial evidence to prove his guilt. Because he had a solid alibi.

Twenty years had passed by. Susan’s murderer is still at large. Her father passed away even without knowing who killed his young and only daughter.

But “ the Cinderella story” as named by the press got a revival when Laurie Mauran, the TV producer decided to feature Susan Dempsey’s murder case in her show “ Under Suspicion”. Prior to it, she could solve a similar murder case through her show. Susan’s mother was long waiting for this and pinned every hopes on Laurie. She saw it as the final opportunity to know who killed her daughter.

When I started off, I could not feel like I was reading a MHC book. Maybe, I was too judgmental as it was co- written by Alafair Burke. The MHC books had their own way of putting the readers on tenterhooks right from the first page, just like Agatha Christie books. But that was found missing in the Cinderella Murder case.

I don’t know whether I was being judgmental as there was someone else who contributed to the book. My love for her work was so huge that I could not think of reading a book which she had co-written with her daughter. I know I am being flimsy.

I found a wide disconnect all through the story. There were ingredients that could make it a super thriller. For instance, even after completing a major portion of the book, they did not leave a single clue which could direct us to the murderer though all through the story they introduced many deviant characters capable enough to commit a murder. When the murderer was caught, eventually not in the remotest corner of my heart did I think that person could be the murderer. ( Do I have to warn spoiler alert here ! ). A ideal situation that can make a work a best thriller but unable to sent shivers down my spine.

Is it because, it was a simple plot. Besides, I am not convinced of the reason given to commit the murder.

Something about me.
I have been reading murder mysteries for many years and I always used to boast that I could identify the culprit even before it was revealed by the author. Much to my annoyance, I realised it recently that I was just going for a person or persons who seemed unlikely to commit that murder as there lies the suspense of the story. That was my simple logic.  Though I could identify the person, I never made any attempt to offer logical reasoning on why I suspected that person.

This time, I have deliberately refrained myself from focusing on anyone.
Instead, I decided to wait until I come across somebody who had the motive to do so and I could not fix my scanner on anyone.

As I always mentioned in my blog, Mary Higgins Clark’s books always helped me to break my reader’s block. But this time, I was pretty slow while reading the book. But I do not know whether it has got anything to do with the book, my reader’s block apart from the reason mentioned above - Being Judgmental.