Of the fifty-six bestsellers the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark published in her lifetime, Where Are the Children? was her biggest, selling millions of copies and forever transforming the genre of suspense fiction. In that story, a young California mother named Nancy Harmon was convicted of murdering her two children. Though released on a technicality, she was abandoned by her husband and became such a pariah in the media that she was forced to move across the country to Cape Cod, change her identity and appearance, and start a new life. Years later her two children from a second marriage, Mike and Melissa, would go missing, and Nancy yet again became the prime suspect—but this time, Nancy was able to confront the secrets buried in her past and rescue her kids from a dangerous predator.
Now, more than four decades since readers first met Nancy and her children, comes the thrilling sequel to the groundbreaking book that set the stage for future generations of psychological suspense novels. A lawyer turned successful podcaster, Melissa has recently married a man whose first wife died tragically, leaving him and their young daughter, Riley, behind. While Melissa and her brother, Mike, help their mom, Nancy, relocate from Cape Cod to the equally idyllic Hamptons, Melissa’s new stepdaughter goes missing. Drawing on the experience of their own abduction, Melissa and Mike race to find Riley to save her from the trauma they still struggle with—or worse.
Where Are the Children Now? (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible.com) (AbeBooks Used Book Marketplace)
Knowing this book was being released, I went back and read and reviewed Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark . I found the book dated, but could see how it created the modern suspense novel at the same time.
Forty years has passed, and Melissa is a lawyer and podcaster who marries a man with a 3-year-old girl ten months after meeting him. I found this to be wholly unbelievable. A woman so learned and with a family history like hers doesn’t look into her husband’s prior life. His first wife had an accidental death and she never questions it. He runs a company, but she knows little about it. But, as they say, love is blind, and she adores his daughter, Riley, as much as she adores her new husband.
When Melissa’s stepdaughter goes missing, she becomes a prime suspect because of her family’s past and her present as a mystery-solving podcaster. If you like true crime podcasts, this book will have a special appeal to the reader. For suspense and thriller fans, you’ll enjoy all the twists and turns this story takes. The clues come fast and furious, yet I found myself able to keep up. In fact, I’ve read enough of these sorts of books that I guessed the kidnappers right away, yet I still enjoyed the literary ride to get there.
Alafair Burke has done a great job capturing the suspense and mystery of a class Mary Higgins Clark novel. Well done!
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