Book Review: The Cinderella Murder

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Synopsis

Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected—is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode.

Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming director? Why does Susan’s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered?

With the help of lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood’s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen—but is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up?”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Review

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*light spoilers ahead*

The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke is book two of the Under Suspicion series. I read the first book, I’ve Got You Under My Skin a few months ago.

I thought this was a great follow up to I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Laurie Moran still has to prove herself to her boss, Brett Young, so she wants to make sure that the Cinderella Murder case is worth pursuing before she presents it to him. This involves making sure the people involved in the case twenty years ago are willing to participate in the show now.

We meet Rosemary Dempsey first, mother of Susan who was murdered twenty years ago. Rosemary is determined to find answers about who murdered her daughter, and she trusts Laurie to be the one to do it. As we already know, Laurie was also stuck without answers when her husband was murdered in broad daylight, so she knows everything that Rosemary has been going through.

Laurie and her production team interview those people who were closest to Susan at the time of her death to put together a picture of what her life was like and who was involved. This includes her roommates, her lab partner in class, and her ex-boyfriend. Laurie and Alex figure that one or more of them is withholding information, but it’s only a matter of time until everything comes out.

Meanwhile, alternating chapters focus on someone who was sent to follow each of these people to gather intel, specifically about what they are revealing to Laurie about the case. Soon, Laurie and her team are being followed, too. By the time they figure out who has been stalking them, and who the killer is, it’s almost too late and Laurie finds herself in a dangerous position.

There was a little more exposition in this book than I cared for. When the story really kicked off (for me this was about a hundred pages in) it really got suspenseful and a little dark. The settings were some of my favorite to read about: New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and of course Silicon Valley. Once again, I had no idea who the killer was until the very end of the book. I had suspicions about who it turned out to be, but I definitely didn’t put two and two together until it became clear to all the other characters – as usual! 🙂

Overall I liked this book a lot and will definitely be reading the rest of the Under Suspicion series!

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