February Read: All Dressed In White

Hey everyone! I’m back with this month’s book review, All Dressed In White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. Spoilers will be below, though I will try my best to avoid them when possible. Skim down to my personal review if you’d like to read a non-spoiler review!

The Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiancé now married to a bridesmaid, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air.

One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part…”

Content Review:

Positive Messages: For being a mystery book focusing on a girl’s disappearance, I actually found a lot of positive messages in it.

For example, the father of the missing bride looks back and sees how he put his business before his family and remained distant from them, driving his son away and unintentionally pitting his two daughters against each other. He regrets what he has done, and truly wants to change and start putting his family before his business. He shows that throughout the book, surprising his two remaining children and wife at his change in action. And both of his remaining children are shown to still want their father’s approval.

Laurie is a widow, and so her father, Leo, a retired cop, stays with her and watches over her son when she is away at work. He also helps her out in her cases, and watches over her when she gets into dangerous situations. Finally, he also approves of her relationship with her new boyfriend and so does her son, who both want them to get married.

The brother of the bride is said to have a very happy family. Since his father was so focused on work which drove him away, he chooses to be active in his own daughters’ lives, going to all their sporting events, being at all their school events, and spending time with them on Saturdays so his wife can sleep in.

The groom and his new wife too are very happy together and he wants to be able to stay with her his whole life.

Rating: 4.5/5

Spiritual Content: There’s not too much obvious spiritual content in this book. A woman used to oversee church projects, and she prays. When the mother of the bride is explaining things to Laurie, she tells her everything she did in her attempt to find her daughter, including hiring a psychic who told her her daughter would be reincarnated. She says she never tried that again.

One of the bridesmaids prays a secret sin of hers will never be found out. A man is referred to as “saint” because of his loyalty to the girl he loves. In college, the bride organized prayer sessions and candlelight vigils for a missing classmate.

Laurie prays.

Rating: 3/5

Romantic Content: There wasn’t actually too much romance in this book, considering the fact that it’s about a missing bride. The parents of the missing bride divorced due to their grief, but still have feelings for each other. It’s implied at the end that they get back together.

The groom ends up marrying the maid of honor a year after the bride’s disappearance, and his wife discovers she is pregnant. One of Laurie’s co-workers flirts around and once wears something that barely covers her bosom.

Laurie is dating the host of her television show, and they kiss a few times. Her father and son want her to marry him, but she isn’t yet completely over the death of her first husband, and so they cut off their relationship for the time being to give her more time.

Laurie, in her investigation, discovers that one of the married bridesmaids and married groomsmen had an affair with each other the night of the bride’s disappearance. The bridesmaid admits it, and says they both regret it now and haven’t done it since, and they both truly love their families. She also wonders what it would have been like to date around, since she only dated and married her current husband, but knows she’s happy with him.

The bride’s family is very wealthy because they own a women’s clothing company, which also dealt with women’s undergarments such as bras and underwear.

Rating: 4/5

Violent Content: It’s explained that the reason Laurie got into trying to solve crimes is because her husband was shot in front of her three year old son at a park, and the killer had evaded capture for five years.

A man who looks like a stalker and has a criminal charge against him looks like a suspect, especially when it appears he is stalking the bride. When Laurie meets him with her father, her father carries a gun.

Laurie’s father connects another case of a murdered girl to the bride’s disappearance. She disappears, then is found strangled in a lake. Another body is found under a parking lot.

A man kidnaps a woman and drugs her. The criminal boasts gleefully about his other crimes and intends to drown another woman. The woman fights back, determined to shoot the criminal if she has too. A man shoots at a woman multiple times. The criminal is finally arrested.

Rating: 4/5

Language: The phrase “come hell or high water” is used once, and so is “Oh my G–“.

Rating: 4/5

Other Negative Content: A man is very jealous of his friend’s good luck with girls when he remains single. One of the bridesmaids is jealous of the bride, and another one was secretly in love with the groom herself. A woman decides she can lie about a few facts to protect herself. People condemn people of the crime just because they act a little suspicious.

Characters drink multiple times. One of the groomsmen now makes wine. Laurie’s son can’t wait until he is old enough to drink at the bar too. Someone purposefully frames a friend out of jealousy.

A woman calls to get some inheritance money before a person is even declared dead. A man and his wife get into arguments and the wife continues to hide something extremely simple and harmless from him, making things worse.

Rating: 3.5/5

Total Content Rating: 3.83/5 Stars

Personal Rating:

For having never read a Mary Higgins Clark book before, this was a good one to start on! I appreciate how she did not add hardly any language and there was no explicit content whatsoever. Even the violence that was in it was handled tastefully and not descriptive. As for the mystery itself, it definitely kept me on my toes and wondering who committed the crime and where Amanda went! I usually guess right on mysteries like this, but this one I didn’t guess until right before they revealed who it was, so she did a really good job not letting on who did it!

Some of this book was a little slow with all the preparations to prepare the crime scene, getting everyone on board and together, and with all the interviews, but if you can handle a little slowness at some parts in the plot, it’s definitely worth a read!

Personal Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Have you read this book? Have you read any of Mary Higgins Clark’s works? Do you want to read this book? Let me know in the comments below! God Bless! ~ Kay Adelin

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