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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Daddy's Gone A Hunting: A Novel

Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that there exists a Mary Higgins Clark book that I have yet to read. And somehow, every year, there's a new one. How on earth I managed to skip over this novel a couple of years ago I'll never know. I picked up it at a lovely used book store in Ocean City, and it accompanied me to Japan this past May. This one is Daddy's Gone A Hunting, and I whipped through it like a sugary, airy, plump meringue.

Kate and Gus meet early one morning at her family's furniture factory, and minutes later the place is blown to pieces. Gus dies and Kate is hanging on for dear life. Gus, a former employee who held a strong grudge, and Kate, the daughter who has threatened to burn the place down out of anger at her father who is losing money hand over fist, are the prime suspects. Kate's younger sister, Hannah, knows she didn't do it. She sets out to prove that these two are not guilty of arson, but what she does find will put her life in danger -- there is someone out there who will stop at nothing to avoid being caught.

As I told my travel companions after finishing this book, what if love about MHC is how formulaic she is. This can often be a downfall, but I've been reading her long enough to know what to expect. I'm no fool, and I don't expect a departure from the story arc, and I pick her up for exactly that reason. This novel was no different, and as per usual, I knew where the story was going and I managed to be surprised a couple of times. I liked the characters, and I thought the plot was pretty original. I was surprised at the connection at the end to a point at the beginning, and I had the solid time I was expecting. I enjoyed playing along.

One thing I did notice this time around, and realized retroactively that I've always found this peculiar to MHC novels, is how she dates herself. For most of her novels, the characters all wear chignons in their hair, and we all know ain't nobody got time for that since 1996. In this book specifically, Hannah wears a scarf around her shoulders at dinner with her best friend. Now, she is a fashion designer in NYC in 2013 -- I'll tell you strait up that would NOT be what that woman would wear to dinner. There were some others, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. love these little nuggets of MHC, though. They make me giggle and appreciate how long she's been in action.

This was a fun read, and I'm grateful for my trade paperbacks like this one for my vacation reading. Keep writing, guuuurrlll. I'll keep reading.

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