The Other Daughter

ISBN: 0752831976
ISBN 13: 9780752831978
By: Lisa Gardner

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Reader's Thoughts


I'm torn between 3 stars and 3.5 stars.This book started really well. Ticked all the right boxes, had me intrigued - right from the first sentence. However, along the way, it got a little ... tiresomely predictable perhaps ... I don't think I can explain it well, but I'll try. I'm a big fan of this author, I've really enjoyed other books she has written. This one felt a little too tidy. The mystery started strong. A 9 year old girl is found in a hospital A&E suffering from some allergic reaction ((view spoiler)[and we never find out WHAT IT WAS!! OR why she had no memory!! All questions I wanted answers to! (hide spoiler)]), with no memory of who she was or how she got there. She is adopted by one of the Doctors and his wife who lost their first daughter and lives a life of a pampered child.I think I enjoy Lisa Gardner's other mysteries where plot twists happen when you least expect. In this one, Melanie starts experiencing flash-backs conveniently timed with particular events, the romance side plot felt a little too "I-have-to-have-a-romance-somewhere-so-this-will-do" ... just that sort of thing. Nothing major, just enough to put this book as not one of my absolute favourites, but a good read just the same.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


A compelling, suspenseful thriller, The Other Daughter is a pretty good read. Every now and then I pick up one of these genre’s of books, and find the pageturning suspense that keeps you guessing until the end, is quite good for a change for me. It revolves around Melanie who was adopted as a young child by a wealthy family who took her in and she became a part of the family. From there - about 25 years forward, a reporter shows up and tells her about everything he discovered from her past. I really enjoyed the characters as we fly through twists and turns until of course we find out the truth by the end. I enjoyed this book…….


** spoiler alert ** Very complicated plot in which a father pretended his daughter had been kidnapped, then murdered, in order to collect a million-dollar ransom on her when she was four years old. His best friend was his accomplice and they involved a convicted killer and the killer's wife in complicated ways. The best friend kep Meagan for five years out of sight, then somehow erased her memory with drugs and she miraculously appears, in a hospital where her father works, as an "orphan" and is "adopted" as Melanie by her real family. Oddly, her mother and father see a resemblace but don't recognize her at all. The whole novel is about someone wanting the truth to come out--ahhh--the best friend--who really was Meagan's biological father. Lots of twists and turns, which kept it interesting, but for real life, it was just too unbelievable. Still, pretty well-written.


A young girl turns up in a hospital in Boston at the same time a serial killer is being executed by the state of Texas. Two events that don’t seem connected, except for the fact that the wealthy family who adopts the little girl lost their first daughter to the executed serial killer. The little girl, Melanie, grows up with the best of everything. There is little her parents or uncle won’t do for her.But when a washed up reporter shows up to talk to Melanie about her past and claims she is the biological daughter of the serial killer, her world turns upside down. She has memories popping up of seeing her adoptive family’s other daughter before she was killed. Someone begins stalking Melanie and each member of her family leaving notes stating "You Get What You Deserve". An FBI agent, who has been quietly investigating Melanie’s father, Dr. Stokes, gets involved in Melanie’s search for her real identity.This was an OK book, it didn’t require a lot of thinking about things as you read. I took issue with a few of the scenes, as I didn’t really find them believable. They made me feel that the author wasn’t really sure how to get the characters out of their current situation so she just threw in sex as an ending point. But for a light read on a quick lunch break or a long drive it would be good.


This is the first Lisa Gardner book I have read and I found it good but not great. The plot which centres around Melanie the adopted daughter of a wealthy couple who lost their first daughter to a kidnapper and murderer, was intriguing. I really didn't predict the ending and genuinely couldn't stop reading to find out whodunit. However I found the writing style was a bit script like. Some of the 'lines' didn't seem believable and it read like a cheap daytime soap in some places. I have read reviews praising her other 'series' books so if they are better I will give them a read because despite all of my negative comments I was drawn in and it was an easy read.


In 1977 a man named Russell Lee Holmes was put to death for murdering six young children. It was believed that Russell was single and had no children. The day he was to die, he admits to a local reporter that he also killed 4-year old Meagan Stokes five years earlier.On the same night he is put to death, a9-year old child is found drugged and abandoned at a Boston hospital by none other than Dr. Harper Stokes, Meagan's father. The Stokes adopt the abandoned girl (Melanie) and for twenty years their life is perfect.Now 20 years later, Melanie receives a disturbing phone call from a sleazy tabloid reporter claiming SHE is Russell Lee Holmes's child - the same man who was put to death in 1977.A cover-up and conspiracy is unearthed and Melanie turns to FBI Agent David Riggs for help. Did Russell Lee Holmes kill Meagan Stokes 25 years ago? If not, then who did? What happened to little Meagan and who were Melanie's birth parents?This suspenseful thriller kept me glued until the very last page. Just when I thought I'd figured everything out, the author throws another curve ball that squashed my theory!Excellent story!

Marta Martins

Great book! Great story, so unbelievably complicated and so simple at the same time! Loved the Melanie character and her pure strength! Loved the way the pieces came together so perfectly. Will be reading Lisa Gardner again very soon with high expectations.


I purchased this book for my Nook because it was only $5. I feel like I completely overpaid. I'm really shocked to read all the rave reviews on this site. It's as though I've read a totally different book. The writing is amatuerish. The dialogue is awful and often awkward. The characters are melodramatic and whiney. The mystery isn't really much of a mystery at all. I had all of the "twists" figured out before they were revealed. The characters in this book are unbelievable. Their development pretty much stops at Dad is a greedy yet spineless old man; Mom is a weak, dependent, alcoholic, etc. There is repetition around these characteristics, but nothing deeper ever emerges. The main characters are awful as well. I had a really hard time with David (the cop) because in one paragraph he is made out to be this aging ex-athlete with a degenerative spine, which doesn't paint a pretty picture in my mind. And then on the next page Melanie will place her hand on his "lean stomach" or notice the musculature of his pectorals or something horribly cheesy like that. Attention authors: you can't take an aging, out of shape, old guy and then make him some sort of sex God in the following chapter. It doesn't work. My mind just had a really hard time creating a picture of him because there were so many details about him that were at odds with each other.The drama surrounding Melanie and her quest to find out who she really is just made me gag. I understand the desire to find out your true parentage and all of that. But everyone acting like, "oh, poor Melanie, we should have protected her. How could we have treated her this way?" The girl is 29. She isn't 7. yet everyone feels some sort of need to "protect" her. I don't know. it was just really odd to me. Like I said, very unbelievable.I really thought this was an awful book. There's no two ways about it. But I did finish it, which says something. Granted my reason for perservering every time I picked it up was so I could move on to something better eventually. But I did continue to go back. Even after putting it away for awhile to read a different book. i went back to The Other Daughter. So there had to be something there that brought me back. For that reason, and that reason alone, I granted two stars. Otherwise I would have given one.


Reviewed for THC ReviewsI believe I first heard of Lisa Gardner through one of the many romance discussion forums to which I belong, so going into reading The Other Daughter, I wasn't entirely certain if it was a romantic suspense or a straight suspense/thriller. After reading the book though, I would have to say it is the latter, but with a minor romantic element. There is a hero and a heroine in the novel. They do develop an attraction for one another, and there is one brief moderately descriptive love scene. However, their relationship wasn't that romantic to me, and I would estimate that it only comprised less than five percent of the total story. Therefore, I would not recommend it to readers who are looking for a true romantic suspense, but it was a good standard suspense/thriller that kept my attention fairly well engaged.Melanie, the heroine and main character, was adopted twenty years earlier by a wealthy family who had lost their little daughter to a serial killer. She has no memory of the time prior to being found abandoned in a hospital a few months before her adoption. Over the years she has truly become “the other daughter,” essentially a replacement for the child the Stokeses lost. Melanie had, albeit perhaps subconsciously, taken on the role of caretaker to her highly dysfunctional family. Now, she, and they, are being plagued by someone who claims that she is actually the daughter of the serial killer. Melanie is a pretty good character, but I found it rather odd that she still lives at home with her parents at the age of twenty-nine, and her parents, in some ways, still treat her like an errant teenager. I also thought that her returning to her parent's house after she knew that they could possibly have been complicit in their daughter's death was a move that bordered on TSTL, and when she ran away after accidentally shooting a man in self-defense, that truly was TSTL. However, I will admit that the author used both of these incidences to propel the plot forward. I was also a bit baffled as to why Melanie kept getting upset with David for keeping things from her regarding his investigation. There are agents in committed relationships who can't reveal such information, and Melanie and David had only known each other for a few days. I guess maybe I can give her a pass though, since suddenly learning that her family had been keeping horrible secrets from her for years was incredibly stressful and made her feel betrayed. I just wish that the author had given a few more insights into her line of thinking.David was an FBI agent, working undercover in a white collar crimes unit, and investigating Melanie's dad for insurance fraud. He works in this supposedly lower-key division, because a severe arthritic condition which causes him excruciating back pain keeps him from doing anything more strenuous. However, before he knows it, he finds himself embroiled in a twenty-five year old murder investigation that everyone thought was closed, running down clues, and fending off a potential assassin. David struck me as a no-nonsense, hard-boiled detective who was very good at his job. He has a pretty intense alpha type persona with an extremely limited gentler side. I guess as the story went on, he softened up a little, and since this wasn't really a romance his personality didn't bother me as much as it normally would. He and Melanie are both pretty stubborn people though, so they have a tendency to argue quite a bit, but not necessarily in an annoying way.The Other Daughter was a pretty good mystery/suspense. Although I wouldn't say that it was un-put-downable, it was a rather intriguing story. I must admit though that in spite of not being particularly good at solving mysteries, I did correctly figure out the biggest piece of the puzzle very early in the book, and I was only more convinced by my theory as the story continued. However, the how, who and why for the most part kept me guessing until the end. I was a little disappointed that the author never really explained how Melanie lost her memory though. The Other Daughter was my first read by Lisa Gardner, and for the most part, I liked her writing style. She has an interesting way of conveying information and progressing the mystery through narrative dialog. Even though this made the dialog quite a bit more dense than I'm used to, it somehow worked OK for me. The book got off to a pretty snappy start, but about a fourth of the way in, it started to slow down as the author explored the tense, sordid relationships of the extremely dysfunctional Stokes family. This made the mystery unfold at a rather languid pace until perhaps the last quarter or so of the book, when things picked up again as all the long-held secrets started to unravel. Overall, I enjoyed The Other Daughter pretty well, and would definitely be open to reading more from Lisa Gardner when I'm in the mood for a good suspense/thriller story that's light on romance.Note: This book contains a graphic description of an electric chair execution which is not for the faint of heart. Although not particularly descriptive, the way in which the body of the little girl was found mutilated might be troublesome to anyone who is particularly averse to violence against children.


Finished this quickly on the plane. Great summer beach book! I went to the library to gert more of her books for instant gratification!


Russell Lee Holmes murdered 6 young children, and the state of Texas is executing him for his crimes. One Of the children Holmes has confessed to murdering is Meagan Stokes, the daughter of a Texas physician and his wife. A reporter covering the story of Holmes' execution knows that Holmes himself has a child, but no one knows the location of this child or the child's mother. When Holmes is executed, that secret dies with him... or so everyone believes. The night Holmes dies, a 9 year old girl shows up in the hospital where Meagan's father works. She has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Eventually Stokes and his wife adopt this girl and name her Melanie Stokes. She fills the gaping void left by the murder of her "sister" Meagan.So begins the story of the Stokes family. Years pass, the family leaves Texas, and the Stokes' household moves on with their lives. And then a series of strange events begin to happen starting with the arrival in town of the reporter who originally covered Russell Lee Holmes and his crimes. The implication is that Melanie Stokes is the child of Russell Lee Holmes. Whether or not that's true, it becomes clear that there's circumstances surrounding Melanie's first 9 years and subsequent adoption that someone wants to reveal. This puts the whole Stokes family in jeopardy of falling apart.There are enough twists and turns in this story to keep the reader guessing right up until the end. I thought some of those events were a bit contrived, but there's no denying that this was a page turner that kept me trying to figure out who was doing what to whom throughout.

Elizabeth Phillips

I am not one to recap a book play by play and I don't like to give spoilers so instead I will just summarize my feelings. Lisa Gardner is a new author to me. I have found I have read and re read all of my favorites that I needed to branch out and discover a new author. Iris Johansen had some good things to say about Gardner so I decided to check her out. The one word that comes to mind in describing this book is WOW. The plot summary moves along pretty well. I found that I had to pay attention at times because of the twists and turns throughout the book, which there were many. I enjoyed the story development and felt she did a good job giving a brief history to each of the characters for the most part. There were parts I had to really stretch to connect some dots but for a weekend read, it was exactly what I wanted and then some. All in all, it's a pretty fast moving book and the twists were pretty interesting. She takes family dysfunction to another level in this novel. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next one.

Ursula Gorman

This one was good, but different. I liked it, and even though I figured out the ending before it was actually revealed, I still have a little trouble swallowing the 'twist'. I can't say why it bothers me because it'll give the story away...That being said, it is a good book and even though the end raised some questions with the twist, I still reccommend it to mystery/romance readers. It would have been a 5 star rating had it not been for my own issues with the end...Give it a try, I think you'll be happy you did. It isn't a cliff hanger, so if that is what you are thinking, no worries there!


I just finished "The Other Daughter" by Lisa Gardner on the 30th or 31st. It was an amazing book, and only took me a few days to read. It revolves around a woman around my age named Melanie Stokes. She was adopted by a rich family who took really good care of her. And then a reporter shows up and tells her about everything he dug up on her past. The book gets really intense from there. The cast of characters is really well described. I felt like I knew each and every one of them. I was happy when they were happy, but felt their pain also. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I never saw the ending coming! Very well written!

M.M. Silva

Happy first day of September! Does this mean summer is coming to an end?? Say it isn’t so…Anyway, I have a GREAT read for you for this week called The Other Daughther by Lisa Gardner. I’ve read some of Gardner’s series starring main character D. D. Warren, and I liked those, so I thought I’d give this book a shot, and it did not disappoint.This story is about a young lady named Melanie Stokes who was abandoned in a hospital twenty years prior and subsequently adopted by one of the wealthy surgeons and his wife. She’s raised with love and all things money can buy, but one day–out of the blue–a reporter tracks her down to tell her that she’s really the daughter of a serial killer who was coincidentally put to death twenty years ago. While Melanie tries to ignore the allegations, some strange and scary events begin to occur which force her to face her past. And she realizes the family who “randomly” adopted her has possibly been lying to her for decades. By her side throughout the ordeal is an FBI agent with some ghosts of his own, and sparks quickly fly between the two…not enough to make you vomit, but just the right amount.This is a very quick read, but you need to be paying attention because of all the twists and turns. I had to force myself to slow down a couple of times to make sure I had everything right in my head. It was a great book, and Gardner did a masterful job of tying up a million loose ends to make a nice and tidy conclusion. So give this one a go, and ’til next week, happy reading!

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