Thursday, February 16, 2017

The sleeping beauty killer by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

The sleeping beauty killer is the fourth book in the Under suspicion series that began with I've got you under my skin by Mary Higgins Clark.  While you can read this book on it's own, there are some ***SPOILERS*** if you have not already read I've got you under my skin.  I recommend reading the first book in the series before reading any others.

Television producer Laurie Moran has been riding the wave of success with her television series Under Suspicion - which has tackled the seemingly impossible task of investigating cold cases using the innovative technique of bringing the witnesses and potential suspects together at the scene of the original crime.  The three specials they have already filmed and released have been well received, the formula seems to work well - and the sttractive and intelligent host doesn't seem to hurt either. 

It is time for Laurie to come up with a new special, and it seems like she has the perfect one on the hook when it falls through.  It may have been fate looking over her shoulder though, as a new potential case has literally fallen into her lap.  Fifteen years ago Katherine "Casey" Carter was sentenced to prison for the death of her fiancée, and she was dubbed "Crazy Casey" because she kept saying she was innocent despite the evidence. Getting studio boss Brett to allow her to run with the story is only part of the battle, she also has to deal with one of the most powerful families around, and deal with being saddled with a new host with dubious credentials.  Laurie isn't afraid of a challenge - which is just as well because this is the most complicated and challenging case yet!

Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke have found a winning formula with this great series - it has strong characters that have developed across the series, a simple yet believable premise, and some truly intriguing cases.  I was wondering if they would further develop the series as it was running the risk of becoming truly formulaic, but The sleeping beauty killer does shake up the expected formula - mainly because of the introduction of a new host for the show which has allowed the writing partnership to explore relationships in the series in new ways. 

The book also varies the formula because it tackles a case that has already been solved in a court of law - which is brilliant because it opens up the potential for the series at a very early stage.  I also found the plot of The sleeping beauty killer to be more complicated, but in a good way.  I like to be challenged by what I am reading, and like to see if I can figure out what is happening before the big reveal at the end and I did not see this one coming which was something of a thrill.  This series is thoroughly enjoyable and has a formula that works, and with each new book in the series it just gets better and better because we are starting to know more about the characters and their personal lives. 

I read book two and three out of order which was not too big a deal, but you really need to read the first three books before tackling this fourth book in the series.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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