Daddy's Little Girl

Daddy's Little Girl

4.2 211
by Mary Higgins Clark, Jan Maxwell

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Ellie Cavanaugh was seven years old when her older sister was murdered near their home in New York's Westchester County. It was young Ellie's tearful testimony that put



Ellie Cavanaugh was seven years old when her older sister was murdered near their home in New York's Westchester County. It was young Ellie's tearful testimony that put Rob Westerfield, the nineteen-year-old scion of a prominent family, in jail despite the existence of two other viable suspects. Twenty-two years later, Westerfield, who maintains his innocence, is paroled. Determined to thwart his attempts to pin the crime on another, Ellie, an investiga-tive reporter for an Atlanta newspaper, returns home and starts writing a book that will conclusively prove Westerfield's guilt. As she delves deeper into her research, however, she uncovers horrifying facts that shed new light on her sister's murder. With each discovery she comes closer to a confrontation with a desperate killer.

Editorial Reviews

Listen up, Mary Higgins Clark fans! To celebrate the release of her latest audiobook, Daddy's Little Girl, America's Queen of Suspense spent some time in the recording studio to discuss her wildly successful career, her inspirations, and, of course, her latest audiobook in a rare audio interview -- exclusive to Barnes &! Listen to the Barnes & Exclusive Audio Q&A!
Publishers Weekly
Writing in the first person a rarity for this veteran author has inspired and energized Clark. Her 21st novel of intrigue is her best in years, a tightly woven, emotionally potent tale of suspense and revenge. Clark's new heroine is Atlanta investigative journalist Ellie Cavanaugh, who was seven when her sister, Andrea, 15, was beaten to death by 20-year-old Rob Westerfield, scion of the wealthiest family in a small Westchester town. Now Westerfield is up for parole, so Ellie, now 30, returns home to speak out against him. When Westerfield is released, Ellie begins to write a book aimed at re-proving his guilt. Digging for evidence, she uncovers clues that Westerfield may have committed another murder as a youth, but that digging also enrages the Westerfields and other town members who think the man was railroaded. Before long, Ellie's life is in danger, as someone breaks into the house she's staying in, then later sets fire to it, nearly killing her, and as Westerfield himself begins to shadow her moves. What makes this novel work isn't only the considerable tension Clark teases from Ellie's precarious position, but the thoughtful backgrounding to the action. Ellie is cast as a lonely woman, without a lover and estranged from her father and half-brother: will she accept one or the other into her guarded life?; and she carries a heavy load of guilt for her sister's death, wondering at times if she is blinded by her thirst for vengeance. With its textured plot, well-sketched secondary characters, strong pacing and appealing heroine, this is Clark at her most winning. (On sale, Apr. 16) Forecast: One million first printing; main selection of the Literary Guild and BOMC, the Doubleday Book Club and Doubleday Large Print, and the Mystery Guild; all that, plus a fabulous green-toned jacket featuring a blood-stained locket on the front and a terrific photo of Clark on the back, add up to #1 with a bullet. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
At the parole hearing for Donald Waring, Trish Duncan begins to wonder whether he was wrongly convicted of killing her sister 20 years ago. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clark's latest damsel-in-distress is a former child witness set against her teenage sister's convicted killer when he comes up for parole 23 years later. "Ellie is such a good kid. She's not a snitch," Andrea Cavanaugh told her friends when she brought her seven-year-old sister to the garage on the Westerfield estate they used as a hideout. The good kid's failure to tell her parents about the hideout when Andrea vanished on the way home from a friend's may have meant the difference between finding her alive or dead. Years later, the girls' mother has died of alcoholism, the father, who adored Andrea but ignored Ellie, has retreated into a second marriage, and Ellie has turned into an investigative reporter who wants nothing to do with him. But the news that Rob Westerfield, the spoiled rich kid her tearful testimony helped convict, is favored for parole brings her back from Atlanta to Westchester, where she attacks his family and their team of legal eagles with everything she's got, from a placard she carries at the Ossining train station offering her phone number to recently released prisoners with anything damaging to say about Rob to a Web site on which she posts each new discovery in her case against him. Even after 23 years, there are plenty of discoveries-the reasons Rob was dismissed from an exclusive prep school, the rumors that Andrea wasn't his first victim, the family's determined attempt to blame the crime on Andrea's special-needs classmate Paulie Stroebel-and each of them brings Ellie closer to long-anticipated danger. Less mystery, more raw pain, and a tough-cookie heroine who tells her own story make this a real departure for Clark (On the Street Where You Live, 2001,etc.), and one that carries more conviction than her usual glossy fantasies.
From the Publisher
Tulsa World After [more than 20] bestselling suspense novels, you might think Clark could not improve. You'd be wrong....A superb suspense story.

Boston Globe Clark doesn't let the reader off the hook until the very last word.

Product Details

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5.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 2.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 5

Wherever Ellie went, she felt in the way. After the nice detective left, she tried to find Mommy, but Mrs. Hilmer said that the doctor had given her something to help her rest. Daddy spent almost all the time in his little den with the door closed. He said he wanted to be left alone.

Grandma Reid, who lived in Florida, came up late Saturday afternoon, but all she did was cry.

Mrs. Hilmer and some of Mommy's friends from her bridge club sat in the kitchen. Ellie heard one of them, Mrs. Storey, say, "I feel so useless, but I also feel as though seeing us around may make Genine and Ted realize they're not alone."

Ellie went outside and got on the swing. She pumped her legs until the swing went higher and higher. She wanted it to go over the top. She wanted to fall from the top and hit the ground and hurt herself. Then maybe she'd stop hurting inside.

It had stopped raining, but there still was no sun and it was cold. After a while, Ellie knew that it was no use; the swing wouldn't go over the top. She went back into the house, entering the small vestibule off the kitchen. She heard Joan's mother's voice. She was with the other ladies now, and Ellie could tell that she was crying. "I was surprised that Andrea left so early. It was dark out, and it crossed my mind to drive her home. If only..."

Then Ellie heard Mrs. Lewis say, "If only Ellie had told them that Andrea used to go to that garage that the kids called 'the hideout.' Ted might have gotten there in time."

"If only Ellie..."

Ellie went up the back stairs, careful to walk very quietly so they wouldn't hear her. Grandma's suitcase was on her bed. That was funny. Wasn't Grandma going to sleep in Andrea's room? It was empty now.

Or maybe they'd let her sleep in Andrea's room. Then, if she woke up tonight, she could pretend that Andrea would be coming back any minute.

The door to Andrea's room was closed. She opened it as quietly as she always did on Saturday mornings when she'd peek in to see if Andrea was still sleeping.

Daddy was standing at Andrea's desk. He was holding a framed picture in his hands. Ellie knew it was the baby picture of Andrea, the one in the silver frame that had "Daddy's Little Girl" engraved across the top.

As she watched, he lifted the top of the music box. That was another present he had bought for Andrea right after she was born. Daddy joked that Andrea never wanted to go to sleep when she was a baby, and so he'd wind up the music box and dance around the room with her and play the song from it, singing the words softly, until she dozed off.

Ellie had asked if he did that with her, too, but Mommy said no, because she was always a good sleeper. From the day she was born, she'd been no trouble at all.

Some of the song's words ran through Ellie's head as the music drifted through the room. "...You're daddy's little girl to have and to hold...You're the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree...And you're daddy's little girl."

As she watched, Daddy sat on the edge of Andrea's bed and began to sob.

Ellie backed out of the room, closing the door as quietly as she had opened it.

Copyright © 2002 by Mary Higgins Clark

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-four suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel; two children’s books; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Brief Biography

Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 24, 1929
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979

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Daddy's Little Girl 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 211 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book ill rate it a 10* , i cried in parts of the book. Most of the time i was on the end of the seat just waitung to turn the page and find out ! My fav ..... thumb up. XOXO
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3 times and i still love it! Such a suspense!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book it has great mystery recomended for +14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary higgins clark is one of the best authors i know ii fell in love with her books escpecially this one i felt how much pain ellie was in because i would have died knowing my brother was dead and i knew the killer was still alive and never convicted knowing whthw man/woman is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely awesome. She didn't let us down.
Shufly More than 1 year ago
I would not recommend this book at all. Not up to par with expectations from Mary Higgins Clark. For those who say this is an awesome book that is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat, I'm guessing they have never read Two Little Girls in Blue or Daddy's Gone A Hunting by MHC. I'm also guessing they're not avid Sandra Brown or Lisa Jackson readers. It's not a hard book to get into, it's just that you keep expecting something unexpected, and it never happens. Definitely not one of her best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt the premise sounded interesting; however, the plot was pretty formulaic. And the ending! It just ended right in the middle of the climax scene. Almost like a chapter was missing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 28 days ago
Great suspense story
kizabee More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked from page one. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recommend it. Her books get better each year..
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are missing pages on my download, and customer service did not help. Otherwise, the book is excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was a fast, enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As all of Mary Higgins Clark's books I was very interested right till the last page. I have never been disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loves_to_read_KY More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by Mary Higgins Clark...but it won't be the last!! The unexpected twists and turns kept me wanting to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book but is the Nook version missing the last chapter. There are so many unresolved loose ends!
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