Where Are The Children – Review

Publication Date : 1975

Another mystery by MHC. Oh, I think I’ll stop reading old mysteries after this, they just don’t age well and I just don’t want to complain no more. Thriller and horror are genres that heavily depend on suspense and not substance. It brings a lot of problems when there’s even a sliver hint of predictability. And to keep readers at bay until the moment of truth, twists and tricks have got to be regularly updated.

Aside from the predictability, there’s also a couple of other things that bugged me about Where Are the Children. I frankly thought that how the plausibility of the story happens in real life was close to zero quite disturbed me. A woman lost her two children to a murder, which she’s found guilty for, served time, released from prison and then skipped town, built a new life, had another two children, and now, once again the cycle goes on loop, starting over right from losing her living kids.

Another thing I notice is that old thrillers tend to be inefficient. Too many characters, each complete with a lengthy backstory are introduced. Many aged mysteries use this trick, to have more than enough characters placed in scattered ways, to give a random effect to the narrative. So that the writer is able to string them back to full circle at the end of the book. All these sporadic elements will come at one place one time to finish off the mystery. This might work a charm back then, but I think the trend these days is to have a solid plot. Well-justified and sensible plotline.

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