Laurie Moran is preparing to pitch the possible topics of the next Under suspicion special to her boss Brett Young, when another possible storyline appears in her office in the form of a grieving and desperate mother. Five years ago Amanda Pierce was getting ready to marry in Florida, but on the night before her wedding she vanishes without a trace. She was immediately dubbed the Runaway bride and her disappearance was treated as a perfunctory exercise in police work. Years later her mother Sandra reaches out to Laurie in the desperate hope that she can revisit the case and solve the mystery of Amanda's disappearance.
When her boss agrees to do the special Laurie is a little surprised, but as the pieces fall into place for organising the venue and the rest of the people involved in the case it seems that fate is stepping in to help get the mystery solved. It soon becomes clear to Laurie that everyone is keeping secrets, that not everyone is what they seem, and that even five years later people are still hurting from the sudden disappearance of a young woman who had everything to look forward to. As Laurie and Alex dig deeper into the mystery and start uncovering the secrets people have kept buried, the truth is slowly revealed - but there is more than one life at stake here.
After very carefully trying to read this series in order, I managed to pick up book three (All dressed in white) before picking up book two (The Cinderella killer) - but I don't think I ruined any surprises for myself. This series is engaging because not only does it rely on cold cases (which adds distance from the cases) but also because it has rapidly switching chapters which mean you get to see what is happening from different points of view. Some of the chapters are very short, which maybe a distraction from some readers, but I am used to it having read countless James Patterson books and I tend to like that style as the story keeps moving at a decent pace.
This is a very good series if you enjoy modern whodunnits - Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke have a well blended writing style and they seamlessly present the story as one voice. The cold case may be the centre of the story, but the people and their stories are woven around the centre so that you are left knowing them and why the case unfolded the way it did. I am looking forward to getting my hands on The Cinderella killer so I can see how their second case ended - and it looks like the fourth book (The sleeping beauty killer) will have more about the core cast of characters which is something to look forward to as well.
If you like this book then try:
- I've got you under my skin by Mary Higgins Clark
- The Cinderella murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
- City of fear by Alafair Burke
- Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
- Behind closed doors by B.A. Paris
- Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
- One step too far by Tina Seskis
- City of the lost by Kelley Armstrong
Reviewed by Brilla