Book Review - No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark | Blushing Geek

Book Review – No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark | Blushing Geek

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark
First Published on April 5, 2005 by Pocket Books
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 472
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.


No Place Like Home written by the very own, Mary Higgins Clark, is absolutely a great read. Just like her other books, this one will also make you guess non-stop on who the real bad guy is.

Also, like her other books, I didn’t instantly enjoy the story when I first read its first few chapters. It contains a very intriguing introduction but it failed to totally get my full attention because I wasn’t really feeling well when I started it. It even came to the point that the shifting of the characters we’re a bit confusing, which mind you, I didn’t have that issue with her other books before. I guess I was already hallucinating that time, haha lol.

But when my headache is finally subsiding, I’m now aware how thrilling this story is which makes hunting the bad guys more challenging. Deym! I can’t believe I could miss something this much. Clark’s way of making you guess non-stop for the culprit is inexplicable. When you think that you already got the culprit, Clark added some twists that you’ll doubt your guess and all you can do is to go back and guess again.

I’ve read a very poor review about this book in Goodreads about its characters, particularly Celia or is also known as Lisa almost 25 years ago. Honestly, I don’t really hate her character. I always admire Clark’s heroines and Celia or Lisa is nothing different from them. Her character is not annoying and I love how the author makes her character more relatable. The addition of her breakdown and the feeling of being afraid not only for herself but also for her son totally nailed it.

I guess this is the part that I should issue a warning for the spoiler because I really really need to release it, haha.

My first guess for the real culprit was spot on. It was actually pretty easy because it was mentioned as early as its first chapter. I’ve been reading Clark’s books since forever so I already have a clue on who’s going to be the culprit in her books. I felt like a genius when I was in the middle part of the book because I really thought I’d got it right. DEEEEEYMMMM! I can’t believe Clark toyed me again. Haha, I’ve been mentally celebrating at that time really.

I noticed that Clark’s culprits are those characters that aren’t mentioned much in her books, so I really thought that I could finally guess them all right. But deym! Clark really amazed me in this book. I don’t want to totally spoil you so I’ll keep the identity of the culprits hidden, haha. But I’ll give you guys a clue. I’ve read Before You Said Goodbye but I still failed to add him to my list of suspects! If you happen to read that book, I’m sure you’ll get my clue haha.

I know I said that I wasn’t able to totally enjoy the first few chapters of this book, but I can clearly recall that it didn’t bore me like her other books did. It was very well written and so intriguing but it just failed to totally get my attention because of my terrible headache. Another lesson that I need to heed next time, never read a book unless your headache totally subside haha. But in all fairness, it still made me remember that the introduction wasn’t written boringly.

This book would have been perfect for me, but considering that it contains some gun related crimes, I really thought the idea of killing the main character was a bit questionable. If the culprits really want the money so bad, to the extent that they want the main character gone, he should have done it by shooting them right? But oh well, we can’t be really sure what’s on the author’s mind when she wrote that part. That said, I’ll be giving this story a 4.5 rating.

Actually, I was mentally battling myself about the rating, because the ending is absolutely my most favorite ending out of all those other books that I’ve read from Clark. Others may say that it was a bit cliché because but I don’t care. Haha, I just simply love it. I love the fact that Celia (Lisa) is finally released from that nightmare and is now happily married for the third time, lol.

The idea of Celia falling in love with the prosecutor (yeah, total spoiler but you will totally guess that already when you read this book) isn’t really a big surprise, but I was a bit disappointed because I think it was too soon. I mean, it wasn’t totally mentioned how they started to like each other, one time Jeff (prosecutor) is questioning Celia and at one point, he’s concerned about her? So that finalizes my decision about the 4.5 rating.

It was really a great read, but I tend to criticize more on the romance parts, haha I’m such a sucker.

Looking for a book that will make you glued till it’s ending? Then this book is absolutely what you’re looking for. Enjoy *wink

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Sophia Rose
7 years ago

I love it when a book keeps me guessing like this. Sorry you had a headache, but glad you could still enjoy the book.

7 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

Yep, good thing I chose the perfect book to read while the headache was on action lol hehe

Carole's Random Life
7 years ago

I love trying to figure out who the bad guy is in this kind of book. I have read Mary Higgins Clark in the past but it has been awhile. I may need to check my kindle to see if I have any of her books needing to be read and try to get to those soon. Great review!

7 years ago

Thanks Carole 🙂

Alyssa Susanna
7 years ago

Queen of suspense! I’d not heard of this author before – totally my fault, I don’t read nearly enough suspense novels. It’s great that this book wasn’t as boring as her other books were. The romance sounds interesting. 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the book, overall!

Great review, Vanessa. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

7 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Thanks Alyssa 🙂

7 years ago

I use to read her like crazy, I really should pick her up again. Great review!

7 years ago
Reply to  kindlemom1

Thank you 🙂

7 years ago

You know, I’ve never read one of her books :/ I probably need to try one some day!

7 years ago
Reply to  LilyElement

I’ll definitely recommend Loves Music Loves to Dance 🙂

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