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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

‘The Sleeping Beauty Killer’ by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Published by Simon & Schuster,
13 July 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4711-5421-8

Casey Carter is released from prison after serving fifteen years for the manslaughter of her fiancé. She has always maintained her innocence and as soon as her mother Paula and her cousin Angela pick her up from the prison she declares her determination to find out who really killed Hunter Raleigh.

Casey gets in touch with Laurie who runs a television series investigating old crimes where people felt they had been wrongly accused. She explains to Laurie that she thought she had been drugged and when she came round she found Hunter dead in a pool of blood. It was because she claimed that she had been out cold at the time of his murder that she was known as the Sleeping Beauty Killer.

Laurie's friend Charlotte works with Angela and they are both sure Casey is innocent and agree to help Laurie prove it. It seems the majority of people believe Casey was guilty, not least of all Hunter's father who even persuaded Casey's ex-boyfriend to write a book about her, calling her Crazy Casey and showing her in a really bad light. However, Laurie is so convinced by Casey and Angela's insistence on her innocence that she starts interviewing people to appear on her show, even if there are not many on Casey's side.

As the story progresses evidence seems to point one way and then the other and Laurie feels that she has a great programme to air, until people start deciding they do not want to appear after all, why? Who has been getting at them? After a really exciting climax the truth is revealed.

I really enjoy Mary Higgins Clark's books and this one lived up to expectations. So persuasive were the arguments for and against Casey's innocence that one minute I was convinced of her guilt and the next I was sure she didn't kill Hunter. So many times, did the evidence seem to point one way and then the other that my head was buzzing!
A really good book well plotted and full of red herrings. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Mary Higgins Clark is the author of twenty-two worldwide bestselling works of fiction and a memoir. She lives in Saddle River, New Jersey, with her husband.


Alafair Burke is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, she is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure.  She is the author of “two power house series” (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair’s novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America’s police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and have been featured by The Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Chicago Sun-Times.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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