Penulis/Author: Mary Higgins-Clark (2002)
Penerbit/Publisher: Simon Schuster
Cetakan/Edition: First hardback, 2002
It’s been years since Ellie left Oldham and now she has the urgency to go back there. Twenty three years ago when Ellie was just seven, her 15-years elder sister Andrea was murdered. Three people were suspected as the killer: Rob Westerfield, a rich boy to whom Andrea was having a date, Paul Stroebel, a classmate who has a secret crush on her and Will Nebel, a man who does variety of small jobs for the locals. Ellie’s testimony in court plus some leading evidences found at the Westerfield’s mansion led Rob to be sentenced for the brutal murder.
Twenty three years had passed and Rob is now asking for a parole after two rejections. All this time he always keeps his innocence plea and recently Will Nebel has come forward to back Rob’s innocence. Ellie wants to make sure that Rob won’t get his parole, and for this she has to face the cunning and dangerous criminal-mentality that will do anything for big bucks. Westerfield is a big name for the New York society and as much people on Ellie’s side, there are also many who think that Rob shouldn’t end up in jail.
I didn’t get an insight as mysterious as what’s in a killer’s mind because whole through the novel I was more exposed to learn what damages Ellie’s parents contributed to her growing up process. Under a deep grief, they abandoned the one side of their lives, the daughter who’s still alive. The first part of the novel allows readers to feel a young girl’s despair of being left out by her father. She carries the guilty feeling forever. Her father was deeply in grief over Andrea’s death that he had put the pressures on little Ellie without realising it.
Ellie’s return to Oldham opens up some memories that she would prefer avoid. The murder has destroyed her family, as none of them could bear the tensions and they chose to deal with the grief alone. Right after Andrea’s funeral, her mother and father divorced and went their own ways. Since then Ellie becomes less frequent on being in contact with her father. It seems that he blames Ellie for not telling him early enough about Andrea’s secret hideout place and they simply stop communicating to each other, maybe unintentionally.
The sense of thrill on this is not as strong as on Clarks’ other novels, maybe because I am starting to get used to her way of giving clues. But the plot didn’t let me make an easy guess thus maintaining my curiosity whole through the story. I actually made quite a few wrong guesses how the novel would end up, and embarrassingly, nothing happened! So I guess, that’s a plus point why this novel is quite light and enjoyable; for sure it didn’t let me underestimate it with my shoddy guesses.
No parents are prepared to lose their children, no one is ready to lose anyone close to them for that matter. Would daddy be prepared to lose his other girl?