Daddy's Little Girl
Mary Higgins Clark
Pocket, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai
ary Higgins Clark has been called the
Queen of Suspense
, and this is very apt.
Daddy's Little Girl
joins an impressive list of best-selling titles, and is another of her
can't put it down
thrillers - a quick, easy-to-read book that will suit a large segment of the reading audience.
llie (Gabriella Cavanaugh) was seven years old when her only sibling, Andrea, was brutally bludgeoned to death on the property next to their Westchester County home. Twenty-two years later, as the convicted killer comes out of Sing Sing on parole, Ellie vows that she will refute the
evidence in the case that might see Andrea's slayer, Rob Westerfield, pardoned. Ellie has spent 22 years of her life blaming herself for not telling her parents where Andrea might have gone the night she disappeared; she is not about to let Rob Westerfield get away with murder.
obson Westerfield, heir to a considerable fortune from his Grandmother, is handsome, suave and ruthless: It was alleged that, a few years before the murder of Andrea Cavanaugh, he organized a break-and-entry at his Grandmother's home, making sure the intruders shot her. Unfortunately for him she survived. With seeds of doubt in her mind, she changed her will so that her grandson would not get an automatic lump-sum inheritance when she died. She was determined that, when Rob was released on parole, the family must be exonerated of murder or she would again alter her will and leave her money to charity.
s the book unfolds we are introduced to Paulie Stroebel, an intellectually challenged young man who was also friendly with Andrea. At the time of Rob's conviction, many people in the community thought that Paulie was the true killer. With the discovery of an
to put Paulie on the scene at the time of the murder, the Westerfields have paved the way for a new trial and verdict. However, the
is himself not too credible and could also have been the murderer. Ellie digs into Rob's past much more thoroughly than the prosecutors did at the original trial. What she uncovers makes her begin to doubt her own ironclad conviction that Rob Westerfield killed her sister ... until she meets him face-to-face again.
ary Higgins Clark writes this book in the first person, but this sometimes doesn't gel well. Early on she says: '
That was yesterday. The next day, Saturday, I flew from Atlanta to ...
' Frankly this is stilted. Why would you say '
the next day
' when, in fact, you are recounting the events of today? Although the narrative has a few flaws, the pace of the book and the investigative descriptions keep the reader riveted - we all know that Rob Westerfield is guilty, but how is Ellie going to prove it and keep her own life? A great
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