“Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke are back with their fifth enthralling mystery in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series; You Don’t Own Me finds television producer Laurie Moran stopping at nothing to solve the murder of a celebrity doctor—even as she finds herself in grave danger as a mysterious stalker plots his next move.
When we last saw Laurie Moran, she had recently become engaged to her show’s former host, Alex Buckley. Since then, the two have been happily planning a summer wedding and honeymoon, preparing for Alex’s confirmation to a federal judicial appointment, and searching for the perfect New York City home for their new life together.
But then Laurie is approached by Robert and Cynthia Bell, parents of Dr. Martin Bell, a famously charming and talented physician who was shot dead as he pulled into the driveway of his Greenwich Village carriage house five years ago. The Bells are sure that Martin’s disgraced and erratic wife, Kendra, carried out the murder. Determined to prove Kendra’s guilt and win custody over their grandchildren, they plead with Laurie to feature their son’s case on “Under Suspicion,” ensuring her that Kendra is willing to cooperate.
Kendra has lived under a blanket of suspicion since Martin’s death, with the tabloid media depicting her as a secretive, mentally unstable gold-digger. Laurie’s show is a chance for her to clear her name. But unbeknownst to the Bells, Kendra has already refused once before to go forward with a re-investigation of her husband’s murder, and her statements to the contrary only add to the appearance of guilt.
But once Laurie dives into the case, she learns that Martin wasn’t the picture-perfect husband, father, and doctor he appeared to be and was carrying secrets of his own. And what does the web of lies ensnaring the Bell family have to do with a dangerous stranger, who gazes at Laurie from afar and thinks, She is actually quite a lovely girl, I’m sure she’s going to be missed…?
You Don’t Own Me is the perfect, exhilarating follow up to the bestselling Every Breath You Take. The “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke have devised another riveting page-turner.
Five years later, Caroline was still working in that same carriage house, but so much had changed. Mindy and Bobby were no longer her little babies. They were nearly finished with the first and third grades. They rarely cried anymore, even when the subject of their father came up.
And Mrs. Bell—Kendra, as Caroline often called her now—well, she was an entirely different woman. She no longer slept away the days. She was a good mom. And she worked, which is why it would fall to Caroline to pick the children up from their twice weekly visit to their grandparents’ apartment on the Upper East Side. It was a task that neither of them enjoyed. Dr. Bell’s parents made their son look like a free spirit compared to them.
Caroline had made it out of the apartment and halfway to the elevator when she heard the children’s grandmother call out behind her. She turned to see both grandparents standing side by side outside their door. Dr. Bell was thin, almost to the point of being gaunt. His wispy hair was combed sideways across the dome of his head. As chief of vascular surgery at prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center, he had grown accustomed to getting his own way. Nine years into retirement the scowl he had brought to the hospital every day had not diminished in the least.
Cynthia Bell, now in her eighties, showed little sign of the beauty that had once been hers. Her long hours in the sun had left her skin wrinkled and dry. Her lips were turned down at the corners, giving the impression of a permanent pout.
“Yes?” Caroline inquired.
“Did Kendra even try to get that television producer interested in Martin’s case?” Dr. Bell asked.
Caroline smiled politely. “It’s really not for me to say who Mrs. Bell speaks to—”
“You mean Kendra,” he said sternly. “My wife is the only Mrs. Bell. That woman is no longer married to my son, because my son was shot to death in his driveway.”
Caroline continued to force a pleasant expression. Oh, how she remembered the drama that had unfolded in the living room six months earlier over the subject of that television producer. Robert and Cynthia had asked to come to the house following Mindy’s after-school dance recital. They told Kendra all about Under Suspicion, a television show that reinvestigated cold cases. Without notifying Kendra, they had sent a letter to the studio asking them to look into Martin’s unsolved murder.
The official Mrs. Bell, Cynthia, interjected. “Kendra tells us that the producer, a woman named Laurie Moran, passed on the case.”
Caroline nodded. “That’s exactly what happened. Kendra was at least as upset about it as you are. Now, I need to get your grandchildren home before my shift ends,” she added, even though she was never one to watch a clock.
As the elevator made its way down from the Bells’ penthouse apartment to the lobby, she had a feeling that the couple wasn’t going to let this subject drop. She was going to hear the name Laurie Moran again.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.
Alafair Burke is the Edgar-nominated, New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Wife, The Ex, If You Were Here, Long Gone, and the Ellie Hatcher series. A former prosecutor, she is now a professor of criminal law and lives in Manhattan.