Book review: All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Monday, November 16, 2015 Permalink

When I reviewed the first in this new series by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke I commented that I once very much enjoyed the former’s books and had (in more recent years) become a huge fan of the latter. As for the two combined…. what’s that saying about money you can take to the bank? #orsomething

I enjoyed their first joint venture, The Cinderella Murder, but think this latest, All Dressed in White, is actually better.

The blurb

Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiancé now married to a bridesmaid, and rumours about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realise everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air.


My thoughts

I read this book in one fairly short sitting. It’s an easy read and one that’s hard to put down. There’s probably a bit less romance than in the first book in the series and I wonder if we’re about to see a shift on that front as the Laurie / Alex thing seems to be going nowhere. (No doubt we’ll have to wait until book 3 to find out.) If Mary and Alastair want my opinion…. (and why wouldn’t they?!) they’d split the pair into separate series cos while they’re great characters individually…. they just don’t seem to be working as a couple and are just kinda boring together.

Anyhoo… as a result this romantic suspense novel is very much weighted into the latter category. Again, it’s a cold case so we only get to meet the victim through the eyes of her family and friends and—interestingly—they all have very different things to say about Amanda.

It’s unsurprising therefore, they have different ideas as to her fate. Some assume she met a grisly end, while others assume she disappeared of her own accord, eager to escape the life she was living. Interviews (for the show) with all of the players gives us a chance to unpick their stories and allow us to attempt a guess at what fate might have befallen the ‘runaway bride’ (as she was named at the time).

Naturally there are lots of red herrings to keep readers on our toes, although I wasn’t particularly surprised by the big reveal near the end.

All Dressed in White is a solid suspense novel. It’s well paced and (like I said), a quick and easy read—perfect for upcoming holidays by the pool or fireplace.

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke is published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and available from 17 November 2015.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    November 16, 2015

    I’ve never read a book written by two authors before. Interesting. I can’t imagine it would be easy to do!

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2015

      I suspect one takes the lead. I did an interview with Kathryn Fox on the blog about the process of writing with James Patterson and it sounds as if he more or less provided vision and guidance.

      This felt more like Alafair than MHC.

  • Mel Kettle
    November 16, 2015

    Never read anything by Alafair – must investigate. Really enjoyed The cinderella murder so will defo read this too.

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2015

      Alafair is the daughter of James Lee Burke and (I think, from memory – cos I’m too lazy to Google) a former prosecutor etc… so writes the police investigation / procedural stuff really well. She’s got a couple of stand alones and couple of series on the go. (And I follow her on FB and love her updates!)

  • Stormi D Johnson
    November 16, 2015

    This sounds interesting and since I am one that needs to start at the beginning I will go and look up The Cinderella Murder. 🙂

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2015

      Yes… and it’s actually a vague follow up to an earlier novel from memory, but you don’t need to have read its predecessor!

  • Karen Blue
    November 17, 2015

    I have never read MHC. Is this a stand alone, or actually a running series?

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2015

      It’s actually the second in a series but (from memory) it’s based on characters from a MHC novel.

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