Monday, November 16, 2015

All Dressed in White, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Mary Higgins Clark, best-selling author of dozens of mystery novels, has recently teamed up with Alafair Burke for a new series, the Under Suspicion novels.  In the second title, All Dressed in White, the titular TV show, Under Suspicion, features the cold case of the Runaway Bride.  Five years ago a wealthy bride-to-be disappeared from the resort where her elaborate destination wedding was to take place in mere hours.  No body ever turned up, but the mother of the bride had never given up searching for her. The groom, on the other hand, married the missing bride's best friend two short years later.

The reality TV show gathers the family and wedding party together at the same resort, revisiting the scene, asking hard questions, and seeking answers that investigators never were able to find.  Clark and Burke cleverly build the story through the show's interviews with the friends and family, and with carefully placed conversations and interactions.  Like any good mystery, they spread the suspicion around liberally, but carefully conceal the identity of the real culprit to the very end.  (If I read more mystery novels, or maybe if I were just more clever and/or devious, I probably would have figured it out earlier.)

I like the way Clark and Burke tell the story.  They include very little action for most of the book.  The story is told through the interviews and investigation.  Building toward the climax, the action climbs exponentially.  I thought of those indoor bike races, where it looks like the races are cruising along easily for most of the race, all keeping a similar pace, until the last little bit where they furiously race to the finish.  All Dressed in White is an entertaining, suspenseful read.  I enjoyed the Under Suspicion characters and would definitely look forward to meeting them again next time Clark and Burke decided to put their minds together.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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