Friday, February 13, 2009

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

As a ten year old child, Liza Barton was roused from her sleep one fateful evening when she heard her mother and stepfather, Ted Cartwright, fighting. She grabbed her father's gun in attempt to protect her mother, and among the chaos, she inadvertently shot her mother when Ted threw her mother's body in her direction. Acquitted of the murder, Liza cannot seem to remember what exactly happened that night.

Twenty years later, Liza Barton has been living under the identity of Celia Nolan. She is married to Alex Nolan and has a young son, Jack, from a previous marriage, and no one, not even her family, knows her past. Wanting to move from the city, Alex surprises Celia when he purchases a mansion in Mendham, New Jersey which, ironically, happens to be the same residence in which she murdered her mother.

If that isn't shocking enough, soon after the purchase of the house, someone vandalizes the mansion, painting the words "Little Lizzie's Place - BEWARE" on the front lawn. Mysteriously, Georgette Grove, the realtor who sold the Lizzie house to the Nolas, ends up murdered at another residence. In fact, 2 more people turn up dead and photos of Celia and her family are left at the crime scenes. Detectives believe that there is something Celia isn't telling them and that she may be a suspect in the murders.

There is someone out there who knows her past and is attempting to destroy everything she has accomplished since the years of her mother's murder. Slowly, the night of the murder comes back to Celia's memory, and Celia wonders how long she can keep up the lies...

My only complaint is that there were almost too many characters to keep track of. However, Clark does do a good job of throwing the reader for a loop and all the subplots seem to fit nicely together by the end.

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