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Where Are the Children?

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  43,450 ratings  ·  1,275 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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Julie Hoffpauir Barbara Wright? Just because you wanted to strangle your sister because she told you about the book that you had to share that damn piece of informati…moreBarbara Wright? Just because you wanted to strangle your sister because she told you about the book that you had to share that damn piece of information to others especially in the area where everyone sees it not to mention that doesn't qualify as a question to anyone except the part where you asked if anybody read it in one of the women magazines. There is a MARK ENTIRE ANSWER AS SPOILER button. Next time use it.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  43,450 ratings  ·  1,275 reviews

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It's been too long since I read a book that I rated a 5 star rating. The plot thickens from the second chapter onward. The book is about plotting and characterization. There weren't too many 'big' words in the book. Consider, that even popular thriller writers, say, like David Baldacci, often throw in a difficult word or two.

Mary Higgins Clark doesn't waste any words. They came piling in, one after another, until I felt sure, each sentence will make me understand a new thing about the Cape (the
Karin Slaughter
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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)
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens, mystery, rape
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 himself.

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
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Mary Higgins Clark based her first suspense novel on the real life case of Alice Crimmins. Alice was a beautiful young mother who dominated the news in 1965 when she was accused of murdering her two young children. Mary Higgins Clark read about the case and as she explained in the forward of the book she based Where are the Children? on her suppositions of Alice's life after she was finally paroled.

In this story Alice is reimagined as Nancy Elderage a young woman who was tried for the murder of
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and suspenseful. I need to read more from this author.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
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
DeAnna Knippling
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my thing but very well done. Fast-paced, hard to put down. Not a deep character study. Not a mystery. But a...domestic thriller? I'm not sure what to call it. It moves as fast as a Patterson (and I suspect he studied some of the author's techniques at some point) but stays grounded in home and family. What I don't like about it is that it's a button-pusher, not so much focused on telling a story as provoking the reader. It does that sort of thing very well--but again, not my thing.
Alyson Larrabee
Mar 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Very dated, and not in a classic or vintage way, kind of like those mile high, teased- up bangs in the eighties. Not a good look on anyone. Filled with annoying tropes and beyond kitschy dialogue.
If you’re looking for classic, atmospheric suspense, read Daphne DuMaurier, not this.
My book club read it because the author recently passed away, and the setting for this novel is local for us.
Eric Linnell
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A very gripping story that you won't want to put down. I found it to be very unsettling as any child endangerment will make me queasy. I would be inclined to try some of her other novels as I enjoyed her writing style.
Liam Sassay De Medeiros
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for you that like mysteries, if you like them, you will be out of breath while reading this book. Nancy Harmon had fled her first marriage and the terrible and evil death of her two children. After going through an entire lawsuit, she changes her name and dyes her hair. She moves to the Cape Cod where she gets married again. There, she gives birth to a boy and a girl, and a few years later she checks her backyard and notices that a nightmare was beginning again.
Where are the Child
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Margaret Crampton
This book is a real page turner and kept me reading all night. The plots and subplots weave a fascinating story and the characters are so real as the net closes in on the perpetrator and only at the end is his surprising identity revealed. This book has apparently been reprinted 75 times. It is as real today as when it was first published as a debut novel in 1975. One of the best thrillers I have read.
Mary Higgins Clark delivers a well structured and quick to the cut crime novel. I always enjoy myself reading her books and this one did not disappoint. I felt that I didn't get the time to feel connected to these characters as much as people in some of her previous books, which is the only reason this is rated 3 stars instead of 4 stars. I did not feel invested enough fro the revelations and plot twists to feel as satisfying as they otherwise could have. By good storytelling as always, MHC. ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in junior high, and remembered being unable to put it down. I've read a few Mary Higgins Clark books since then, and they've been ok, but nothing that really grabbed me. Then I came across Where Are the Children at a used book sale and decided to read it again. And I finished it in two days flat. It would have been one, but I did have to be a parent during the time I was trying to read. :)

May 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-school
This book was horrible.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Two children are kidnapped and held for ransom by a madman. Soon, however, the childrens' father begins to suspect that their mother may possibly have had something to do with the crime.
One of her coming soon.
Vicki Willis
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A blast from the past. A fast paced mystery from the 70's. It is dated and old fashioned, but still a good read. The role of the female character and the way she was looked at was stereotypical for the era. It has suspense and the setting added to the story. A recommended read.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I'm not much of a thriller reader, I prefer mysteries that I have to puzzle out. But this book is a makes me reexamine that bias. I was sure (view spoiler) was the person who killed (view spoiler)
The book was very well written and had me turning the pages as fast as I could. This 45 year old book also made me realize I'm never goin
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
My Rating: Three & 1/2 Stars

This was actually really, really good for a debut novel. Considering the subject matter, it clearly demonstrates that Mary Higgins Clark was ahead of her time when she wrote the book in 1975. I can see why it was a real standout; the shocking, suspense-filled thriller must've had everyone talking. Compared to present-day novels, Where Are The Children? is still a very good mystery. It aged well, but I did have a few problems that kept it from being a standout experien
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
* 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
Jim C
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the debut novel from this author and this book launched her career where she has penned many books. In this one, a mother has created a new life after a horrible tragedy happened to her seven years ago. The problem is that it seems that history is about to repeat itself.

This is your typical cozy mystery book where the reader tries to guess the culprit before the big reveal. The author does a good job progressing the mystery and building up the tension as we race to the finale. In my opin
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
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
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funbooks, fluff, mystery
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
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
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.

Nicky Wills
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I so enjoyed this book. This is MHC’s first suspense novel and it is so well written. I read it years ago but it’s been long enough that I didn’t remember how it ended. Excited to get into the next one!
Michael W. Boleware
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
An uncomfortable subject diminished enjoyment and predictability of the bad guy halfway through takes away the suspense. The two side characters, the psychiatrist and the nosy novelist were very interesting and the main reason I finished.
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels.

Clark’s books have sold more than 100 milli

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