In a riveting new thriller from America's Queen of Suspense, a young woman is ensnared into returning to a place she had wanted to leave behind forever -- her childhood home. There, at the age of ten, Liza Barton had shot her mother, trying desperately to protect her from her estranged step-father, Ted Cartwright. Despite his claim that the shooting was a deliberate act, the Juvenile Court ruled the death an accident. Many people, however, agreed with Cartwright, and the tabloids compared her to the infamous murderess Lizzie Borden, pointing even to the similarity of their names.
To erase Liza's past, her adoptive parents change her name to Celia. At age twenty-eight, a successful interior designer in Manhattan, she marries a childless sixty-year-old widower, Laurence Foster, and they have a son. Before their marriage, she reveals to him her true identity. Two years later, on his deathbed, he makes her swear never to tell anyone so that their son, Jack, will not carry the stigma of her past. Two years later, Celia is happily remarried. Her peace of mind is shattered when her new husband, Alex Nolan, surprises her with a gift -- the house in Mendham, New Jersey, where she killed her mother. On the day they move in, they find the words little lizzie's place -- beware painted on the lawn, splotches of red paint all over the house, and a skull and crossbones carved into the door.
More and more, there are signs that someone in the community knows Celia's true identity. When Georgette Grove, the real estate agent who sold the house to Alex, is brutally murdered and Celia is the first on the crime scene, she becomes a suspect. As Celia fights to prove her innocence, she is not aware that she and her son, Jack, are now the targets of a killer.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . First Book
Posted June 27, 2010 by Jamie E , Poplar Grove, ILThis was the first book I read by Higgins. After reading it, I will read more of her work. It was great!! Keeps you on your toes and wondering what's next. Loved it!!!
2 . Keeps you Reading
Posted September 16, 2009 by Linda , Conklin, NYIt's a fast read. Keeps you wondering what will happen next. Liked the ending, and you will be surprised.
Simon & Schuster
April 05, 2005
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Excerpt from No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark
Chapter One: Twenty-four Years Later
I cannot believe I am standing in the exact spot where I was standing when I killed my mother. I ask myself if this is part of a nightmare, or if it is really happening. In the beginning, after that terrible night, I had nightmares all the time. I spent a good part of my childhood drawing pictures of them for Dr. Moran, a psychologist in California, where I went to live after the trial. This room figured in many of those drawings.
The mirror over the fireplace is the same one my father chose when he restored the house. It is part of the wall, recessed and framed. In it, I see my reflection. My face is deadly pale. My eyes no longer seem dark blue, but black, reflecting all the terrible visions that are leaping through my mind.
The color of my eyes is a heritage from my father. My mother's eyes were lighter, a sapphire blue, picture perfect with her golden hair. My hair would be dark blond if I left it natural. I have darkened it, though, ever since I came back to the East Coast sixteen years ago to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. I am also taller than my mother was by five inches. Yet, as I grow older, I believe I am beginning to resemble my mother in many ways, and I try to distance myself from that resemblance. I have always lived in dread of someone saying to me, "You look familiar..." At the time, my mother's image was splashed all over the media, and still turns up periodically in stories that rehash the circumstances of her death. So if anyone says I look familiar, I know it's her they have in mind. I, Celia Foster Nolan, formerly Liza Barton, the child the tabloids dubbed "Little Lizzie Borden," am far less likely to be recognized as that chubby-faced little girl with golden curls who was acquitted -- not exonerated -- of deliberately killing her mother and trying to kill her stepfather.
My second husband, Alex Nolan, and I have been married for six months. Today I thought we were going to take my four-year-old son, Jack, to see a horse show in Peapack, an upscale town in northern New Jersey, when suddenly Alex detoured to Mendham, a neighboring town. It was only then that he told me he had a wonderful surprise for my birthday and drove down the road to this house. Alex parked the car, and we went inside.
Jack is tugging at my hand, but I remain frozen to the spot. Energetic, as most four-year-olds are, he wants to explore. I let him go, and in a flash he is out of the room and running down the hall.
Alex is standing a little behind me. Without looking at him, I can feel his anxiety. He believes he has found a beautiful home for us to live in, and his generosity is such that the deed is solely in my name, his birthday gift to me. "I'll catch up with Jack, honey," he reassures me. "You look around and start figuring how you'll decorate."
As he leaves the room, I hear him call, "Don't go downstairs, Jack. We haven't finished showing Mommy her new house."
"Your husband tells me that you're an interior designer," Henry Paley, the real estate agent, is saying. "This house has been very well kept up, but, of course, every woman, especially one in your profession, wants to put her own signature on her home."