My end of financial year resolution is to read some of the books that are lying scattered by my bed. This once-tidy stack that’s overflowed to become a messy pile contains mostly books I don’t intend to keep. I’ve paid very little for any of them. They’ve been picked up from markets, or sales at libraries, or the bargain bin at op shops. I’m not going to straight out use the junk food metaphor for these books, but most of them wouldn’t be called literature in the classic sense. I don’t believe it makes them unworthy, however, and I still think reviewing them will be fun.
So, when one of the groups I am a member of on Goodreads had a thriller/horror challenge, I decided to be virtuous with my resolution and shuffled around until I found something suitable. I chose a Mary Higgins-Clark book, Daddy’s Little Girl. A lot of her books I would class as thrillers, however, I don’t think this one was (unless you’re young and easily frightened, I suppose).
I rated it 3 1/2 stars.
I unashamedly love MHC. Her books are very easy to read and play out almost like a movie in my mind. However, I marked this one down by 1/2 star for the ending. It felt really rushed, as if she didn’t know how to finish, or was too tired to go on. In fact, the book ends with a summary (shudder) explaining how the loose ends were tied up (a little too neatly).
The other thing I didn’t like about the book was its multitude of unnecessary characters. There were quite a few who were introduced and had scenes for no apparent reason.
In the end, I shelved the book as a ‘cosy mystery’. The writing is not what I’d class as ‘edgy’ or ‘out-of-the-box’, and the clues to solving the mystery are not particularly deep or cryptic, giving it that ‘cosy’ feel. (The crime is awful, and could make you feel uncomfortable, I guess, but I didn’t find it graphic or gory.)
One thing I did find interesting was how the book highlights the speed of technological advances and thus using gadgets/techno babble in a book is fraught with danger. The main character updates a ‘website’ regularly, and these scenes seem clunky and old-fashioned already (it was published in 2002).
There is a hint of romance in the book, and although I quite like how it was handled for 80% of the book, I think I could have had a touch more towards the end, just to flesh it out a bit, so to speak. Overall, I did enjoy this, and it did get me in the mood for more MHC. I’m actually sure there’s a few more somewhere beside the bed…