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The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner
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Feb 12, 2009

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bookshelves: 2009, thriller

Russell Lee Holmes murdered 6 young children, and the state of Texas is executing him for his crimes. One Of the children Holmes has confessed to murdering is Meagan Stokes, the daughter of a Texas physician and his wife. A reporter covering the story of Holmes' execution knows that Holmes himself has a child, but no one knows the location of this child or the child's mother. When Holmes is executed, that secret dies with him... or so everyone believes. The night Holmes dies, a 9 year old girl shows up in the hospital where Meagan's father works. She has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Eventually Stokes and his wife adopt this girl and name her Melanie Stokes. She fills the gaping void left by the murder of her "sister" Meagan.

So begins the story of the Stokes family. Years pass, the family leaves Texas, and the Stokes' household moves on with their lives. And then a series of strange events begin to happen starting with the arrival in town of the reporter who originally covered Russell Lee Holmes and his crimes. The implication is that Melanie Stokes is the child of Russell Lee Holmes. Whether or not that's true, it becomes clear that there's circumstances surrounding Melanie's first 9 years and subsequent adoption that someone wants to reveal. This puts the whole Stokes family in jeopardy of falling apart.

There are enough twists and turns in this story to keep the reader guessing right up until the end. I thought some of those events were a bit contrived, but there's no denying that this was a page turner that kept me trying to figure out who was doing what to whom throughout.


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