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Dr Gary Lasch is found dead at his desk after his skull was crushed by one of his sculptures. His wife is accused of his murder and the news stuns the elite community that they live in in Connecticut.
His young, beautiful wife, Molly, claims that she has no recollection of the event but the evidence against her is overwhelming - she was found in the house covered in his blood. To escape life imprisonment and a murder conviction, Molly accepts a plea bargain of manslaughter and is sent to prison.
It is now six years later, and Molly has been released from prison. Those who love Molly plead with her to move on with her life now that she is free, but she is determined to prove her innocence some way or another and makes a public declaration to that effect in front of a group of reporters gathered at the gates of the prison waiting for her release. Amongst the reporters is old school friend Fran, an investigative reporter for a true crime television series.
Molly convinces Fran to produce a programme on her, and although reluctant and convinced that Molly did commit the crime but under some kind of stress or pressure at the time, she soon begins to think that there might be something else to it...but who wants Fran from finding out the truth at any cost...?
I'd read a book by this author on holiday and when someone requested a book swap with me for one of my older books that wasn't shifting on RISI, I decided to go with her again to see how it compared. The author, Mary Higgins Clark, has a very formulaic way of writing and structuring her books, much the same way that most crime writers have their safety formulas which afford them so much of their success. This is the second book I have read about a fairly wealthy and attractive married woman from the suburbs of America accused of a crime that she obviously didn't commit. (This isn't me ruining the book, its quite clear Molly didn't murder her husband, else, why would there be a whole book about a woman spending the last 6 years in prison only to find out she did do it after all?)
Despite the obvious similarities, this didn't put me off, as like the previous book, I soon found myself hooked. From what I can see there are two main reasons why this book (and probably the rest of the authors books) is a success. Firstly, the author is excellent at developing the main character. Molly, quietly determined was a character I found believable and extremely likeable. No, there was nothing outstanding about her in my eyes but that made her all the more real. Not only was the main character well drawn, but so were the secondary characters of Molly's friends and also those characters who appeared to be molly's foes.
Secondly, although the plot is very same-y to the other book, "No Place Like Home" the author still manages to create a great deal of suspense and intrigue around the main plot. It wasn't clear to me until the final chapters who it was who killed Gary Lasch, as the author cleverly weaved several "read herrings" into the story which had me going back in forth throughout. As well as several possible suspects, there were several mini plots which kept the whole story ticking over and making it a book I looked forward to reading.
As you may have gathered, there is nothing truly outstanding about this book, yet I do enjoy a good murder mystery and Mary Higgins Clark provides the perfect stories for me to get wrapped up in. Satisfactory conclusions are a big factor into whether I think I book is good or not - it doesn't have to be a happy ending as long as it fits - and this hit the spot for me. I'd read her again.