Title: Two Little Girls in Blue
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrator: Jan Maxwell
Date of Publication: 2006
When Margaret and Steve Frawley return home from a fancy dinner, they discover that their twin daughters, Kelly and Kathy, have been kidnapped. The kidnappers are demanding a ransom far too high for them to afford. This novel follows the kidnappers, the investigators, and the Frawley family in the events that follow.
*Please note, I am reviewing the abridged audiobook version. I wasn’t aware it was abridged until partway through!*
This is my first ever Mary Higgins Clark book, and I have to say that I was surprised. It wasn’t what I expected.
We know from the very beginning of the novel who the kidnappers are. The novel follows them and the investigators searching for them. While we know who the kidnappers are, we aren’t told who they’re working for. There’s still some mystery to it all. I really like this approach. We get to follow both sides of the investigation, while there’s still an unknown for the reader to try to guess.
A major issue that I had with the novel was the way the characters are portrayed. The kidnappers come across as quite stupid. They’re in it for the money, plain and simple. But it’s clear from the beginning that they’re not the masterminds behind this big scheme, and that someone else is pulling all the strings. My issue isn’t with the intelligence of the kidnappers. My issue is that they are simply not relatable. If the reader is going to follow the kidnappers, there has to be some sense of urgency, some sense of what is motivating them. We know that they’re in it for the money, they want to move away and live rich and never look back. I would have liked to have seen Clark delve deeper into that. That said, maybe she did in the unabridged book. Nevertheless, I would have preferred if their motives were relatable. We spend half the book following them, so it would have been nice to be invested in them. Maybe they knew they had made a mistake and wanted out. Maybe they regretted what they had done and were trying to figure out a way to get their money and get the girls back safely. One of the kidnappers, Mona, makes it clear that she wants to keep one of the little girls. This made the plot more exciting, although I would have appreciated if she had had a more interesting backstory behind why she wanted a child of her own.
I love how the book title is a song, and how the extremely creepy kidnapper Mona kept singing that song. Talk about foreboding. The audiobook reader’s voice was extremely creepy. I got chills!
I recommend this book (even the abridged audiobook edition) to anyone looking for a fast-paced thriller. It’s well-written with good pacing, but if you’re hoping to relate to the bad guys, you’re better off picking up another book.
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