The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion Series #3)

The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion Series #3)

by Mary Higgins Clark, Alafair Burke


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The third thrilling novel in the Under Suspicion series by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke follows television producer Laurie Moran as she tries to help a woman she believes was wrongfully convicted of killing her fiancé.

Fifteen years after being convicted of murdering her fiancé—the famed philanthropist Hunter Raleigh III—Casey Carter is determined to clear her name. Though she has served her time, she finds that she is still living under suspicion. Going on the true crime show Under Suspicion seems to be her only hope to prove her innocence.

The show’s producer, Laurie Moran, also believes in her innocence and wants to help Casey. But with Alex Buckley taking a break from the show—cooling his potential romance with Laurie—Under Suspicion introduces a new on-air host in Ryan Nichols, a hot shot legal whiz with a Harvard Law degree, a Supreme Court clerkship, experience as a federal prosecutor. Ryan has no problems with steering the show, and even tries to stop Laurie from taking on Casey’s case because he’s so certain she’s guilty.

An egomaniacal new boss, a relentless gossip columnist, and Casey’s longstanding bad reputation: Laurie must face this and more to do what she believes is right, to once and for all prove Casey’s innocence—that is, if she’s innocent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501108587
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: Under Suspicion Series , #3
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 366,583
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

Alafair Burke is the Edgar-nominated, New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Wife, The Ex, If You Were Here, Long Gone, and the Ellie Hatcher series. A former prosecutor, she is now a professor of criminal law and lives in Manhattan.


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

Read an Excerpt

The Sleeping Beauty Killer

  • Prologue

    Will the defendant please rise?

    Casey’s knees wobbled as she rose from her chair. She stood with perfect posture—shoulders back, gaze ahead—but her feet felt unsteady beneath her.

    The defendant. For three weeks, everyone in this courtroom had referred to her as “the defendant.” Not Casey. Not her given name, Katherine Carter. Certainly not Mrs. Hunter Raleigh III, the name she would have taken by now if everything had been different.

    In this room, she’d been treated as a legal term, not as a real person, a person who had loved Hunter more deeply than she’d ever thought possible.

    When the judge gazed down from the bench, Casey suddenly felt smaller than her five-foot-seven frame. She was a terrified child in a bad dream, staring up at an all-powerful wizard.

    The judge’s next words sent a chill through her entire body. Madame Foreperson, have you agreed upon a unanimous verdict?

    A woman’s voice responded. “Yes, Your Honor.”

    The big moment was finally here. Three weeks ago, twelve residents of Fairfield County had been selected to decide whether Casey would go free or spend the rest of her life in prison. Either way, she’d never have the future she’d envisioned. She would never be married to Hunter. Hunter was gone. Casey could still see the blood when she closed her eyes at night.

    Casey’s lawyer, Janice Marwood, had warned her against trying to read anything into the jurors’ facial expressions, but Casey could not resist. She stole a glance at the forewoman, who was short and plump with a soft, gentle face. She looked like someone Casey’s mother would sit next to at church picnics. Casey remembered from voir dire that the woman had two daughters and a son. She was a new grandmother.

    Surely a mother and grandmother would see Casey as a human being, not simply a defendant.

    Casey searched the forewoman’s face for some sign of hope, but saw nothing but a blank expression.

    The judge spoke again. Madame Foreperson, would you please read the verdict into the record?

    The pause that followed felt like an eternity. Casey craned her neck to scan the crowd seated in the courtroom. Directly behind the prosecution table sat Hunter’s father and brother. A little less than a year ago, she was going to join their family. Now they stared at her like a sworn enemy.

    She quickly looked away to “her” row, where she immediately locked onto one set of eyes, bright blue like her own and almost as fearful. Of course her cousin Angela was here. Angela had been there for Casey since day one.

    Holding Angela’s hand was Casey’s mother, Paula. Her skin was pale, and she was ten pounds lighter than when Casey was first arrested. Casey expected to see her mother’s other hand also being held, but the next person on the bench was a stranger with a notepad and pen. Yet another reporter. Where was Casey’s father? Her eyes scanned the courtroom wildly for his face, hoping that somehow she had missed him.

    No, her eyes hadn’t let her down. Her father wasn’t here. How could he not be here, of all days?

    He warned me, Casey thought. “Take the deal,” he said. “You’ll have time for another life. I’ll still get to walk you down the aisle and meet my grandchildren.” He wanted the babies to call him El Jefe, the Boss.

    The instant she realized her father was absent from the courtroom, Casey believed she knew exactly what was about to happen to her. The jury was going to convict her. No one believed she was innocent, not even Daddy.

    The woman with the gentle face and the verdict slip finally spoke. “On Count One, the charge of murder, the jury finds the defendant . . .” The forewoman coughed at that very moment, and Casey heard a groan from the gallery.

    “Not guilty.”

    Casey held her face in her hands. It was over. Eight months after she had said good-bye to Hunter, at last she could begin to envision tomorrow. She could go home. She wouldn’t have the future she’d planned with Hunter, but she would sleep in her own bed, take a shower by herself, and eat what she wanted to eat. She’d be free. Tomorrow, a new future would start. Maybe she would get a puppy, something she could take care of, that would love her even after every­thing that had been said about her. Then maybe next year, she’d go back to school to get her PhD. She wiped away tears of relief.

    But then she remembered she wasn’t done yet.

    The forewoman cleared her throat and continued. “On the alternative charge of manslaughter, the jury finds the defendant guilty.”

    For a second, Casey thought she might have misheard. But when she turned toward the jury box, the forewoman’s expression was no longer unreadable, her face no longer soft. She had joined the Raleigh family in staring at Casey with condemnation. Crazy Casey, just like the papers called her.

    Casey heard a sob behind her and turned to see her mother making the sign of the cross. Angela had both hands on her head in utter dismay.

    At least one person believed me, Casey thought. At least Angela believes I’m innocent. But I’m going to prison anyway, for a long time, just as the prosecutor promised. My life is over.

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Enjoyed new and old characters. Great suspense. Can't wait to find out what happens with Alex and Laurie.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    These two authors are excellent together as well as separate. When reading their novels you can just imagine the electricity coming from their joint efforts. Hurry with the next book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Excellent story. Plot line us well developed adcare the characters. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Stephanie Clanahan
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love all her books and I can't wait to read the next one
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great job Mary Higgins Clarke as usual. Love all your books.You just keep getting better and better...
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    No comment
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Good but unnecessarily dragged out.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    You have got to read this!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a good book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    While very well written and enjoyable, it was predictable from page 1. I would have liked a bit more suprise in the story, a bit more intrigue.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Always enjoy your Books! Great storyline and good Characters! Very suspenseful. You are one of the best mystery writers. Look forward to the next Book! I have read all your books.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Easily figured out "who dun it"
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Enjoyed the series
    SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
    I read Mary Higgins Clark's very first book, 'Where Are The Children?' in 1975 when I was in high school. I have read every one since then and own them all. Well, I don't own her children's book. The woman is 89 years old and still going strong, stories just as tight as always. The thing I love about her books is that she builds suspense a bit slow at first, then adds different layers until you're just racing toward the finish line, eagerly awaiting the identity of the culprit. This is her third book, I believe, with Alafair Burke. It reads all Mary Higgins Clark, though. AND....her next mystery comes out April 4th. I can't wait! I never miss one of her good books. She is called the Queen of Suspense for good reason, and with over 100 million books in print, a lot more than I agree with her talent.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another great 'Under Suspicion' story. I've always loved reading Mary Higgins Clark. And that brought me to another great author when she started writing these books with Alafair Burke. The way they can weave a story together is phenomenal. It had me wondering myself who was guilty of the murder. And the ending....I won't give it away, but Wow! Can't wait for the next one.
    micharch More than 1 year ago
    Laurie and her team take on the case of Casey Carter who has served 15 years in prison for manslaughter. She was convicted of killing her finance', Hunter Raleigh, III. She wants Laurie to help her prove her innocence. Laurie is intrigued by the case and gets her boss to agree. Alex is no longer on the show and she is having a hard time coming to grips with the change. Her boss appoints a new show host, Ryan and Laurie goes into it feeling bad vibes. Laurie begins to work on the case and new questions are raised and some surprising answers are found. Alex and Laurie continue to dance around each other. It all comes to a head when Laurie determines that Alex is hiding something from her and decides not to trust him. Alex goes above and beyond to prove his integrity and Laurie winds up having to come to grips with her issues. Casey's case takes a surprising turn at the end. Alex plays what he hopes is a winning hand at the end. We shall have to see where this series goes from here. Nice addition to this series.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I’m never disappointed with Mary Higgins Clark.