Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Stars: 3.5 / 5
All Dressed in White is a thriller by Mary Higgins Clark published in November of 2015. This is the third book in the Under Suspicion Series continuing to follow the lives of Laurie Moran, Timmy Moran, Alex Buckley and Leo Farley. Mary Higgins Clark collaborated with Alafair Bruke for this series forming another strong set of books from this bond.
Amanda Pierce was all set to get married her handsome boyfriend, a lawyer. It was a luxury destination wedding to be held at Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. But the day before the wedding, Amanda simply disappeared and no one could find her. The only thing missing from her room was her driver's license and a tiny purse with her room card, compact and lipstick. The press had dubbed her disappearance as The Runaway Bride. This was five years ago. And now Amanda's mother Sandra Pierce approaches Laurie Moran - the producer to the hit show Under Suspicion - to take up the disappearance as the next case. The detective assigned to the case - Marlene Henson - still has the case in her cold case lists waiting for a break.
Laurie finds many missing and intriguing pieces unraveling in front of her as she ponders on the case - Amanda had a will that gave the two million dollars trust fund and some hefty investment earnings; Jeff and Meghan get married before a year of the disappearance; Meghan and Jeff had dated in college before Amanda was introduced; Amanda's family comes with lots of family money and a wealthy business - Ladyform, the company that made ladies undergarments equivalent to Vicotria's Secret. With approval from Brett - her boss - Laurie puts The Runaway Bride as the next Under Suspicion case. The usual people who help her are her staff - Grace and Jerry - her father Leo Farley and the defense attorney and host of the show - Alex Buckley.
As the investigation and preparation for the show is underway, Laurie and her team find out many inconsistencies, surprise bumps and unexpected turns in the story. Charlotte was passed over for Amanda as the successor to Ladyform, even though Charlotte was the oldest, leaving her a bitter sister. Could she have anything to do with the disappearance of Amanda and thus eliminating the competition? Well, Jeff and Meghan had married too soon too. Did they get rid of Amanda? What was it that Kate did in Palm Beach that she did not want to come out in the investigation? Had cancer - Hodgkin's Lymphoma - caused Amanda to find an escape even though she was cured of it? Laurie and Alex as they proceed with the preparation, they uncover these and many more hidden secrets that the cops hadn't uncovered or bothered to look for first time around. How will all these be tied together? What happened to Amanda?
Several people had helped search for Amanda initially when she disappeared - Walter Pierce (ex-husband to Sandra and father of Amanda), Jrffrey "Jeff" Hunter (Amanda's fiance), Charlotte Pierce and Henry (Amanda's siblings), Meghan White aka Mrs. Hunter (Amanda's bet friend from college and Maid of Honor), Kate Fulton (Amanda's college friends and one of the bridesmaids) and Nick Young and Austin Pratt (Jeff's college friends). And now they are all lined up as suspects for the show along with many others - Janice Carpenter (Southern Florida tabloid writer), Ray Walker (the Wedding Photographer), Mitchell Lands (the lawyer who wrote-up Amanda's will) and Jeremy Carroll (Ray's assistant photographer at the wedding).
The sparks between Alex and Laurie that started in the first book in this series, I've Got You Under My Skin (Under Suspicion #1) (You can find my review here: http://inspirethoughts.livejournal.com/591347.html), are still there. And there are walls around Laurie that Alex is trying hard to break. It will be interesting to see if they will indeed become a couple in coming books. Also we get to see more glimpses of Alex's family - his brother Andrew, wife Marcie and three kids - in this plor. Authors are gradually building up Alex's side of the characters too.
Another interesting plot where the TV show hosts solve a crime that was left unsolved. Surprising twists - yes, I thought I had nailed the killer when the twist came out my blindside - multiple motives and suspects, hidden secrets that if unraveled will topple several lives and a thread tying all the key roles together. Wonderfully written, thoroughly entertaining, nail biting at times and easy going without giving you the shivers. Looking forward to read the next one in the series.
1) Some interesting places to see in New York next time I am in:
2) Leo Farley - Laurie's father in the plot - is an avid reader of Harlan Coben mysteries.