Reviews for Piece Of My Heart

by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In this sixth title from the duo of Clark and Burke—both best-selling mystery authors on their own—true-crime television producer Laurie Moran is thrust into the sort of headline-grabbing stories she typically covers for her show. It starts when the seven-year-old nephew of Laurie's fiancé goes missing on a family vacation. With the clock ticking, Laurie must call on all her resources to help locate the boy, aided by her policeman father, who has his own hands full with a high-profile former suspect now claiming innocence and a false confession. Frustrating efforts to tie these two plotlines together lead to a somewhat convoluted plot, and, after spending a majority of the novel focusing on the terror of the young victim and his frantic family, the last-minute attempt at a sympathetic edit for the perpetrator rings largely hollow. However, flaws aside, the well-timed use of cliff-hanger chapters makes for a fast-paced read that will surely be snapped up by fans of both authors.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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 fiances 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 Hamptons South Shore Resort and Spa, surrounded by her loving family, days before shes 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 Alexs sister, Marcy, spirited out from under the nose of his longtime babysitters 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, whos 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 Johnnys kidnapping to press Leo to support his story? Could the abduction have something to do with Marcy and Andrew Buckleys adoption of Johnny soon after he was born to a woman whose identity theyve 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. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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.

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