Book Critique – You Don't Own Me (Under Suspicion # 6)

For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: Starving for digging into old cases and see how they are solved? And a touch of romance to it? Well, here are the books that come bundled together perfectly. And what better, they are written by in collaboration with one of the famous mystery book author. 

You Don't Own Me is the sixth book in the Under Suspicion Series by Mary Higgins Clark in collaboration with Alafair Burke published in November of 2018. 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.

This time the Under Suspicion team is handed the murder of Dr. Martin Bell, who five years ago was shot in his driveway. Now his parents - Dr. Robert and Cynthia Bell - wanted Laurie Moran to take on the case. They have suspicions that Martin's wife Kendra Bell and their daughter-in-law had murdered their son. It was upto Laurie and her team to put together all the facts in front of the audience and try to either prove or disprove the person who is under suspicion.

But that is not what all seems to be the case. Suddenly Laurie finds herself in the middle of the investigation, being a target herself to an unknown assailant. Was that person part of her investigation current or past, is something the rest of the plot becomes along with the investigation. 

She is aided by her trusted associates - Grace Garcia, her assistant; - in getting the show put together. And also support from her family - son Timmy Moran and father Leo Farley - immensely helps her. This time around Leo Farley's police connections are also used by Laurie's show. And not to forget, Ryan Nichols, the host of her show, who does his best to get under Laurie's skin, even though he does ask tough and right questions on the show.

We also see the continued presence of Charlotte Pierce, whom we had first seen in the third book All Dressed In White (My review here), and who becomes a confidante and friend to Laurie Moran, sometimes aiding in her investigation of the cases. Charlotte runs the New York City operations of her family business, Ladyform. 

In the previous book, Every Breathe You Take, we did see that the romance between Laurie Moran and Alex Buckley does come to a conclusion with both of them professing their love finally. Befittingly Clark and Burke have their plans of wedding included with the plot. And also Alex Buckley is appointed as the Federal Judge in this installment. 

Clark and Burke again reused the characters from the past books, creating a flow along the different plots, giving them new meaning and meat keeping the readers interested in them. 

One of the touch that Clark doesn’t miss are the hang-out joints in and around NYC, making the reader want to visit them too - Gotham Bar and Grill on 12th Street, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in Greenwich Village, Daniel on 65th Street, Don't Tell Mama - a piano bar on 46th Street.

Although it seems that the authors are moving off track of solving the crime outside of the TV production as opposed to on TV as it originally was mentioned in the series. They are going back to the way how mystery plots are written. 

Despite that, 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 and sometimes forgotten.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:

a. As always, this title of Mary Higgins Clark book is also a title of a song sung by Lesley Gore in 1963. This was her second hit recording. More about the song here. And the song in question below.

b. Laurie Moran in the plot ponders about a version of "Who's on First" while talking to some of the people related to the case. I thought she was talking about a game. But a google search led me Abbott an Costello's comedy routine called "Who's on First". More about it here. I haven't watched the show on TV myself, but here is one that I found on YouTube

c. Jerry Klein - one of the associates of Laurie Moran - is promoted to Assistant Producer in this plot. While interestingly enough, Ryan Nichols turns a new leaf - he becomes more deferring to Laurie and actually starts behaving like a team player. 

d. Laurie's father Leo Farley and Alex's boss, Judge Russell, are shown to be interested in each other romantically. 

e. The situation Kendra Bell was in, she compares it to the 1944 crime thriller Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. I remember this movie airing once on TCM but I missed watching it. Now I want to watch it, so next time it airs I will definitely not miss it. 

2) Sub-Plots:

a. With the fifth book, Every Breathe You Take, Leo Farley, Laurie's father, goes back to police force again by joining the NYPD's anti-terrorism task force. We also see Alex Buckley getting judicial appointed to the United States District Court of Southern District of New York.

b. Alex Buckley's household and immediate family are frequently introduced during the course of the plots. They consist of: Andrew Buckley - Alex's younger brother - his wife Marcy and three kids (a boy named Johnny and twin girls); Ramon - Alex's butler, chauffer, chef and any other role, all encompassed.

c. Laurie Moran seems to love novels by Karin Slaughter. I am really tempted to add them to my list but the list is growing, sadly.


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