‘Daddy’s Gone A Hunting’ Reminds Us Why Mary Higgins Clark is the Queen of Suspense [REVIEW]

Firemen hosing down a fire

When a furniture factory burns to the ground, everyone seems to be a suspect in Mary Higgins Clark’s Daddy’s Gone A Hunting. (Photo courtesy Canva)

When a blaze wipes out a furniture business, investigators try to figure out who is to blame. Is it the owner’s daughter? An embittered former employee? A homeless veteran? Or perhaps the owner himself? There’s no shortage of suspects in Mary Higgins Clark’s Daddy’s Gone A Hunting. But which one of them actually did it? Find out in this riveting whodunnit from the Queen of Suspense!

Mary Higgins Clark's DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING

Simon & Schuster

The Connelly sisters, Kate and Hannah, have had their share of tragedy, starting with the death of their mother and uncle when they were very young. But questions continue to haunt them when the furniture business their grandfather founded in Long Island City explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling buildings to the ground, including a museum which housed priceless antiques.

There in the ash, startling discoveries are made and questions swirl about the incident that cannot be easily explained. For starters, what was Kate doing at the factory in the middle of the night with Gus, a disgruntled craftsman who was forced into retirement? Did they start the fire, or was someone else to blame?

Now with Gus dead and Kate in a coma, neither can tell the arson investigators their side of the story, nor what the tragedy may have to do with a woman who has been missing for nearly 30 years. As the investigators dig deeper into the case, it seems someone is willing to go to great lengths to keep their secrets covered up, but who?

After learning of Mary Higgins Clark’s death, I felt the need to read one of her novels as a way to bid farewell to an author who has given me countless hours of reading enjoyment—and robbed me of sleep—on numerous occasions. I still remember the first time I read her work, starting with the novel While My Pretty One Sleeps back in 1989 when I was a junior in high school. Usually I could figure a mystery out before I reached the end, but not with that novel, and after that I was hooked and became a lifelong fan. Fast forward to early 2015, and I had the honor to interview Mary for WBSM, the talk radio station I was working for at the time. She was such a gracious and humble guest, charming and funny, and I honestly could have talked to her all day. I still remember how she told me that she worked hard to get all the details right in her stories, a fact that impressed me tremendously.

Now, reading Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, I could tell that she invested the same amount of time and attention to detail into this story. Not only did she obviously research fire investigations and what coma patients must go through medically, but she also dug into how homeless people survive on the streets and the lasting effects PTSD has on veterans. As such, this is an intricate tale which weaves together multiple story threads that provide various perspectives and a fascinating cast of characters. And the deeper I got into the story, the more perplexed I became as I tried to detect every red herring, up until the very end. Then I got that wonderful satisfaction I always get closing one of Clark’s novels as I sat back and thought, “Mary fooled me again!” I know that she would have been delighted by my reaction, and would likely have told me that she’d done her job and given me my money’s worth.

There was a reason Mary earned the title the Queen of Suspense. She had a flair for storytelling which captivated audiences everywhere, and always kept us coming back for more, eager to see if we could outwit her as we read her latest story. If you want a great suspense yarn, you can’t go wrong with one of her books. And if you’ve never read one of her books before, Daddy’s Gone A Hunting is the ideal place to start. It is classic Mary! I must admit I envy you, however, as you begin your journey into Clark’s vast catalog of stories. Because once you read this book, I guarantee you’re going to want to find all of her books. This is just the beginning of a love affair that you will be helpless to resist. Enjoy, dear reader!

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Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark
(Photo by Bernard Vidal)


Mary Higgins Clark is the number one New York Times bestselling author of 37 suspense novels; four collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including her latest, The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges.

With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five holiday suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take, and You Don’t Own Me with bestselling author Alafair Burke. Her books are international bestsellers, with more than 100 million copies sold in the United States alone.

Mary died on January 31, 2020. For more information about her and her books, visit the author’s website at MaryHigginsClark.com and like her on Facebook.

By Mary Higgins Clark
352 pp. Simon & Schuster. $26.99

Purchase Daddy’s Gone A Hunting at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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