Book Critique – The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion #4)

For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: Want a thriller? You will get one with this…not bone-deep as usual but nonetheless a good one. If you are into murders and especially dig on solving cold cases, this is one series you do not want to miss.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer is the fourth book in the Under Suspicion Series by Mary Higgins Clark in collaboration with Alafair Burke published in November of 2016. The series follows Laurie Moran and her show Under Suspicion where they bring together the key players involved in an unsolved cold case hoping to shed light on what really happened and perhaps solve the case too.

In the previous book - All Dressed in White (My review of that book is here) - we see that Alex Buckley - the spokesman for the show - and Laurie Moran - the producer of the show - leave the readers with a limbo in their relationship. Add to that fact Alex leaves the show on the pretext of concentrating on his career. So now Laurie is given a new host - Ryan Nichols - with whom she steers to work with despite her personal reservations.

In the new case that literally plops on her lap, Katherine "Casey" Carter comes to her to have her investigate the murder of Hunter Raleigh III - her fiance - the crime for which she had just completed 15 years in jail. Casey had all along voiced that she was innocent despite her being committed for it. With objections from Brett - Laurie's boss - and Ryan, her hurdles began even before the show started for Laurie. Still she keeps on it and finally gets all the players involved to participate in the show. However, what is she going to achieve? Proved that Casey was innocent? Or show her more guiltier? Or actually find the killer? 

She is aided by her trusted associates - Grace Garcia and Jerry Klein - in getting the show put together. And also support from her family - son Timmy Moran and father Leo Farley - immensely helps her. But I would say that the absence of Alex is certainly felt not just by Laurie but by the reader as well. Clark shows the struggle that Laurie is facing with regards to Alex in a subtle but yet profound manner.

This book can also be seen as a continuation to the previous book as we see Charlotte Pierce getting a role in this plot too. We saw her in the previous book - All Dressed in White - where Laurie had solved the disappearance of Amanda Pierce - Charlotte's Sister. I like the characters to flow through a series if the author continues to write them. But in this case Clark and Burke went a step ahead by reusing the characters of a case that was solved by the lead roles. Interesting twist in there. 

Unlike other Under Suspicion series books, in this case it was easier to identify who the killer was sometime towards two-thirds into the book. However I would have liked to have a different person be the killer, would have been a bit more redemption for Casey. 

Another successful mystery thriller by Clark and Burke I must say that not only explores the personal elements of the lead characters but also gives closure to the ones who needed.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Timmy Moran and Leo Farley watch a show called Bosch that Laurie Moran mentions as her favorite too. I hadnt heard of this show before but I see that it is a police procedural TV Series by Amazon Studios starring Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch. The first season aired in 2015 and so far three seasons have aired. More about the show here. I might want to watch this in future.

2) The book ends with Alex breaking up with Laurie. It pained me to see the authors have made such a decision with the characters. But I guess that has to happen if Laurie cannot let go of her past and if she cannot trust Alex as much as she trusted her lost husband Greg or her father Leo. May be Alex has something up his sleeve to make Laurie realize how much he loved her. Or may be Laurie could prove that she is as much in love with Alex as he is. Whatever it is, I cannot wait to read the next book if I could to see what transpires between these two people. 

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