By Mary Higgins Clark
Simon & Schuster - 2002
ISBN: 0743206045 - Hardcover

Reviewed by: Nancy Mehl,
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Ellie Cavanaugh is only seven years old when her sister, Andrea, is brutally murdered. A clandestine tryst with a boyfriend results in death, and Ellie is haunted by the knowledge that if she hadn't kept the meeting secret, her sister's life might have been saved. Her parents also seem to blame her, and she holds the guilt deep inside her soul. The boy Andrea was to meet that night, Rob Westerfield, is convicted of the murder and sent to prison, all the while professing his innocence.

Now, over twenty years later, Westerfield, is up for parole, and Ellie, an investigative reporter for a newspaper in Atlanta, finds out that he intends to seek a new trial. New evidence, supposedly found by an author who is writing a book about the case, is being touted by the wealthy Westerfield family as the key to finally exonerating their family name. Ellie is working on her own book, and maintains a website that she uses to prove Rob Westerfield was the person who murdered Andrea. She is determined to stop her sister's killer from walking away from his crime.

DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL is Mary Higgins Clark at her best. The story is engrossing and the plot holds the reader from beginning to end. Clark's first attempt at writing in the first person point-of-view is a success. A MHC novel isn't great literature - it is exactly what it is supposed to be: an easy to read, compelling story that gives the reader an enjoyable respite from reality. All in all, a pretty impressive achievement.

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