MWA Grand Master Clark and Burke’s workmanlike sixth Under Suspicion novel (after 2018’s You Don’t Own Me) finds widow Laurie Moran, the producer of Under Suspicion, a reality TV show that investigates cold cases, engaged to marry Alex Buckley, a well-known criminal defense attorney and a former host of Laurie’s show. Before the wedding, the happy couple gather in the Hamptons with their families and friends. Timmy, Laurie’s 10-year-old son, is playing on the beach with Alex’s seven-year-old nephew, Johnny. The boys are under the care of a teenage babysitter, whose attention strays to a good-looking lifeguard. Johnny disappears when the babysitter and the lifeguard take the kids for an ice cream, but was Timmy the real target for the kidnapper? Laurie’s father, the former first deputy commissioner of the NYPD, believes that the abduction is connected to a murder case he handled 18 years earlier. Plenty of motives and suspects keep the reader guessing as the action builds to a dramatic finale. Never mind the serviceable prose and stock characters. The authors show once again how a mother can turn into a courageous warrior when her child’s life is at stake. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"A fitting sendoff that modulates as smooth as butter from celebration to shock to detection to ticking-clock suspense." – Kirkus Reviews
"A fast-paced read that will surely be snapped up by fans of both authors." – Booklist
"With a dazzling plot filled with misdirection and surprise, a cast of familiar and first-time characters, Clark’s talent for romantic suspense and Burke’s for edginess, Piece of My Heart jangles the nerves as it touches the spirit.The death of a prolific and talented author, no matter the genre, leaves fans bereft. But as we mourn Mary, let us also hail Mary for six decades of achievement, hundreds of late nights and thousands of pleasurable hours." – Fredericksburg Freelance Star
Having again joined forces with Edgar-nominated, New York Times best-selling Burke, late Queen of Suspense Clark offers a (likely) final frisson featuring Laurie Moran, producer of the reality TV show Under Suspicion. Laurie is about to marry fiancée Alex Buckley, former host of her show, when Alex's seven-year-old nephew goes missing. And the hunt is on—even underwater, as Johnny was last seen collecting shells along the shore. With a 250,000-copy first printing.
The sixth and presumably final collaboration between Clark, who died in January, and Burke picks up with true-crime TV producer Laurie Moran on the very eve of her wedding, only to see her happiness dashed when her fiance’s nephew is kidnapped.
Even though her first husband was murdered by a man who years later came after her and her son, Timmy, Laurie considers herself impossibly lucky. As she frolics at East Hampton’s South Shore Resort and Spa, surrounded by her loving family, days before she’s to marry federal judge Alex Buckley, who hosts her TV program, Under Suspicion, she feels more blessed than ever. Her serenity is rudely jolted when that family suddenly shrinks with the disappearance of Johnny Buckley, the 7-year-old son of Alex’s sister, Marcy, spirited out from under the nose of his longtime babysitter’s slightly less attentive friend. Laurie blames herself for golfing instead of hitting the beach with Timmy and Johnny; her father, former NYPD first deputy commissioner Leo Farley, blames himself for spending the day responding to the accusations of Darren Gunther, who’s been imprisoned ever since he confessed to Leo that he stabbed bar owner Lou Finney 18 years ago in a brawl that got out of hand, that Leo only made up his confession. Could Gunther have arranged Johnny’s kidnapping to press Leo to support his story? Could the abduction have something to do with Marcy and Andrew Buckley’s adoption of Johnny soon after he was born to a woman whose identity they’ve never learned? Or could the kidnapper have snatched Johnny by mistake, thinking he was Timmy?
A fitting sendoff that modulates as smooth as butter from celebration to shock to detection to ticking-clock suspense.