Where Are the Children?
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Where Are the Children?

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  26,221 ratings  ·  682 reviews
Nancy Harmon long ago fled the heartbreak of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her two little children, and the shocking charges against her. She changed her name, dyed her hair, and left California for the windswept peace of Cape Cod. Now remarried, she has two more beloved children, and the terrible pain has begun to heal -- until the morning when she looks in th...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Pocket Books (first published 1975)
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I think I've gotten pickier as I've gotten older. I devoured Mary Higgins Clark's novels when I was in junior high and high school. I loved being a little scared and trying to figure out who the killer was. (I think that may have been a carryover from my elementary-aged love of Agatha Christie novels.) I didn't have as much fun with this one.

I picked up this book at the library because I hadn't read a novel like this in ages. And now I kind of remember why. As enjoyable as the story was (who doe...more
Great suspense but "blah" characters.

In her first suspense novel, Clark does a great job of developing the tension by offering up enough red herrings to ensure a gradual reveal, but also enough solid hints to allow the reader to figure it out. Unfortunately, her characters were weak cliches and not particularly interesting.

All in all this was an okay and easy read that will be most appreciated by fans of the suspense novel.

I came across this book when I was in high school. I borrowed it, read it and returned it the next day...

I was horrified, chilled and appalled at the way the main female character was treated, but equally amazed and thrilled at the ending which allowed her to twist the dirty deeds of her tormenter back on herself.

One of the reasons this subgenre became so popular was that until the 1970s (and the movie "The Burning Bed") very few people were willing to admit that a man could hurt his wife. In th...more
Haven't read any of Mary Higgins Clark's books in quiet a while. After reading this one I realized again why I love her writing. Throughout the whole book I was trying to figure out who the kidnapper/murderer was and what happened to Mack. Every time I thought I was right I was proven wrong. Her books are so easy to read and flow nicely through the chapters.
* Mary Higgins Clark's second novel and her first suspense novel.

* Number 50 on the Mystery Writers of America's list "The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time." This list also includes Agatha Christie's book, The Witness for the Prosecution. Oh, wait. That was a short story, not a novel. Memory is a funny thing, isn't it? Not only can it turn short stories into novels, I think it can turn novelty into greatness. My 30th Anniversary Edition of Clark's book includes an Introduction by Clark in whic...more
This book was disturbing and intense and shook me. I was all parts intrigued, riveted, consumed and wholly disgusted. I'm not sure I've ever read a book that page after page I wanted, sometimes needed, to put down because of the awful way it made me look and think about humanity and at the same time keep turning the page. I was possessed I needed to know what was going to happen, I was desperate to know if things would work out...
This book made me question the abilities of man on every level. Th...more
I liked the story and it was an interesting concept. It had a good flow and I didn't feel that it was slow in any parts. Really, my only problem with the book had to do with the authors descriptions. For example, she would take the time to describe the main characters clothing which sounded like things my 60 year old mother would wear, not a 28 year old. And has anyone referred to jean as dungarees in the past 50 years? Also, her description of the characters 900 sq. ft. apartment made it sound...more
Shane Malcolm
My first time reading MHC, even though she started writing just a couple of years before I was born. This is her first novel, and I raced through it. Very well paced, suspenseful, with a great twist. She definitely crams A LOT of characters into a short space, and interestingly, we get background information on most of them, even ones who appear literally on just one page. Not sure if this is a trademark of her style, but I do plan to read another one of her thrillers. This book also deals with...more
Val Jones
Nancy (Harmon) Eldredge moved to Cape Cod from California to escape a haunting past: her children Peter and Lisa were murdered, and she was accused of and tried for their deaths. Over six years, she has remarried and created a new life for herself, complete with a home, husband, and two children. But, on her 32nd birthday, that all changed when her two children (Mike and Missy) were kidnapped and her past and true identity were revealed in the local paper. Now, Nancy must face her past and force...more
Karin Slaughter
If you look at this book in the context of its time, it's actually sort of shocking. The plot is really tightly wrought and the characters are strong and likable in a way that seems natural today, but was very bold back in the day.

I see Mary a lot at crime writing functions and she is always the best dressed, most glamorous author in the room. (Granted, this is not a high bar, but still)
Mary Higgins Clark is a best seller for a reason - and that is she is predictable, not necessarily in plot or style but in that her books are readable and enjoyable - yes there may be a formula you quickly get the feel for and the characters may sometimes feel like they have been lifted right out of one story in to the next - but still they are well written and fun reads. I didnt realise how much I had been drawn in to the story until I realised how few pages there were left in the book. And eve...more
This book was horrible.
The name of my book is " Where are the Children " by Mary Higgins Clark. Nancy Harmon moved to Cape Cod to escape her former life. She was accused of killing her two children, Peter and Lisa, and was put on trial. When she was found not guilty, she fled California to cape cod, hoping to leave the tragedy behind her. In Cape Cod, she meets Ray who was a realty salesman. They get married and have two children together. Everything seems so perfect and their life seems like it cant get any better, u...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 19, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
The story involves an innocent woman, Nancy Harmon, who was at one point convicted of the murder of her two young children and sentenced to the gas chamber in California. Released on a technicality, the key witness had disappeared so she couldn't be retried. She dyed and cut her hair, changed her name, moved to Cape Cod and married and had two more children. And now, the secret of her true identity has come to light in her new community and her five-year-old son Michael and three-year-old daught...more
Oct 27, 2010 Daniella rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the genre.
There were a lot of things about this book that really annoyed me. Namely, the pervading attitude towards women. There was so much undisguised misogyny in these scant 290 pages that I was several times overwhelmed by the distinct urge to toss the book in the oven and turn that fucker on broil. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that it was a library book, so if I charbroiled it, I'd have to pay for the damn thing, which: a) I'm broke; and b) I refuse to pay a single cent for something s...more
Sep 11, 2011 Ryn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Mary Higgins Clark really was the earliest prototype of the gripping mystery. It was well written with a few good twists, and I loved the story and the fact that I could read it in less than three hours. There was minimal gore and yet the plot was still interesting and plausible. Take note, modern suspense authors who seem to feel that a novel without the most bizarre, bloody, insane quirks is no sort of novel at all. Yes, I mean you, Karin Slaughter.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Slaughter'...more
This is the first book I have read by Mary Higgins Clark. It was about a woman who was accused or murdering her two children and then she moved to another state, changed her name and appearance, remarried and had two more children with her new husband. She thought all of this past was behind her when one day her picture appeared in the local newspaper on the anniversary of her first childrens murders (which also was her birthday)and exposed who she was and her past to all the locals now in her t...more
Really about 1 1/2 stars. An implausible, jerry-rigged plot, bad writing with a tin ear for dialog, and cliches taken from every made-for-TV kidnap thriller: these elements are what make authors millions of dollars? While authors like John Barth have to teach to get by?
And yet....I read every word. Why? Because I'm a sap. To quote Pauline Kael (talking about the movie 'An Officer and a Gentleman" I think): "It's crap. But it's crap no a motorcycle."
Dec 07, 2009 Anqelica rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested into suspence
Recommended to Anqelica by: my english teacher
In the novel "Where are the children" written by Mary Higgins Clark, is set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The author experiences a bad past life. She tries changing her life by moving to another place. Also marries another man. Everyone thought she murdered her first two children. She moves and begins her new life when , she thought is was going well and her to other kids Michael and Missy and kidnapped. She goes outside and sees Missy's mitten but didnt think anything about it because shes always...more
I read this when I was a teenager back in the '70s (or the olden days) and loved the suspense. I wanted to see how it held up after all these years. I must have matured because, while this is still an enthralling premise, the execution was only mediocre.
I always love a Mary Higgins Clark book. I like to read her books right after I've read a really long book or one that took lots of concentration. Not that her books are no brainers, but they are just very addictive to read, well written and are defiantly a page turner, even if sometimes the ending of the 'who done it' is a bit obvious. This story is about a woman who was trialed for the death of her two children, and was sentence to death but the trial was acquitted due to a key witness running...more
A splendid question. I was totally engrossed and continued to enjoy Clark's books for quite a while. I don't know if I could reread it, knowing what happens.
I've always been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark and this is one of her earlier books that I've meant to get around to reading but somehow never have until now. Though her writing isn't as polished in this one as it is in her later books, she still does a very nice job of weaving a plot and pulling you in.

She's also one of the few authors who can weave a mystery that I can't usually unravel by halfway through the story, and though this plot had some minor holes at the end and is more simplistic tha...more
Riccardo Avesani
Nancy (Harmon) Eldredge si stabilisce a Cape Cod dalla California per sfuggire al suo passato: i suoi due figli Peter and Lisa sono stati assassinati e lei è stata accusata del loro omicidio e condannata alla camera a gas. Solo grazie a un vizio di forma il processo è stato invalidato e grazie alla scomparsa del testimone chiave, Nancy è riuscita a scampare alla morte. Sei anni dopo, la ritroviamo rimaritata e madre di altri due bambini (Mike e Missy) e alzi la mano chi già non ha immaginato che...more
jhaidyn b
Mar 19, 2014 jhaidyn b is currently reading it
'Where Are the Children' is the second of Mary Higgins Clark's books that I have read. Clark adds a lot of suspense to her writings, which I personally enjoy. 'Where Are the Children' is filled with suspense from the beginning to the end.

In 'Where Are the Children', Nancy Harmon is the main character and she initially lives in California. She is married to a man named Charles and they have two kids named Peter and Lisa. One day while at home she allowed Peter and Lisa to go outside and play in...more
I've been reading Mary Higgins Clark novels for a very long time. I don't remember exactly how old I was when I first picked up one of her books (I think I was around 12, but I'm not entirely sure), but I do remember picking the novel up. I was in a big-box store -- I know exactly which one it was, too, but I won't name it here -- and I was browsing in the paperback aisle. The cover for Clark's Daddy's Little Girl caught my eye, and it didn't take me long to decide I needed to read it. I went an...more
Some of the more chilling story elements had potential, but I feel that Clark's first suspense novel could have benefited from the guiding hand of a more critical editor.

My complaint with Silent Night: A Christmas Suspense Story was that it was too short and underdeveloped, but this book seemed to be the opposite - it felt overdeveloped in some areas. A lot of the secondary characters were useless and boring, and several of them could easily have been combined for brevity's sake.

Similarly, the...more
I'm reading this with my teen book club. I thought I had read this as a teen myself but as I reread it, it did not ring any bells. I know I read A Stranger is Watching and I really thought I read this one too. I remember them both being supremely creepy and scary but this time around, not so much. Maybe that's because I read it already. When I was a teen I went through phases with my reading. I would read a ton of mystery novels or read a bunch of novels by the same author or gothic mysteries or...more
Christina Singletary
"Where are the Children?" is the first book I've read by Mary Higgins Clark and I have to say that given Clark's fame in the mystery genre, I expected better. I found the book to be an enjoyable page-turner, but overall, it was only mediocre.

Here were my biggest gripes:
1) I accurately figured out who the killer was thirty pages into the book. The identity of the killer seemed so glaringly obvious, in fact, that I thought I HAD to be wrong and that some twist would surely come at the end (it didn...more
Macee Bradley
I really did enjoy this book. In the beginning of this book it was a little confusing on how it flowed with explaining the characters and the background of everything. It was slow, until the conflict began to rise and then the details form there were great. I like how in the story it shows the little details to explain the conflict. For example in the story it said, "They were my children! How could I have killed them...?" An example like this to me shows how the author can make the reader feel...more
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I cant remember the title or author of this book! 5 64 May 26, 2011 12:58PM  
  • Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914
  • Hitched (Regan Reilly Mystery, #9)
  • Nobody Knows (KEY News #5)
  • Harmful Intent
  • The Ugly Duckling
Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, best known as Mary Higgins Clark, (b December 24, 1927 in the Bronx, New York) is an American author of suspense novels. Each of her twenty-four suspense novels has been a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remain in print as of 2007, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are The Children, in its sevent...more
More about Mary Higgins Clark...
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“Exposed to the world for what she was; numbed with worry and fear; trying to answer the question... The same question the police had thrown at her over and over seven years ago.....Where are the Children?” 4 likes
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