Although Clark's novels are often shelved with other mysteries, her strength lies more in her ability to manipulate the reader's emotional investment, in keeping the reader in a state of creeped-out suspense, than in the crafting of a taut mystery. A few of her novels bear some of Agatha Christie's influence, but they are more obviously marked by a Daphne du Maurier sensibility. Clark found the premise for her first suspense novel Where Are the Children? by asking 'what if?' when she read about Alice Crimmins, a young mother on trial in New York, accused of deliberately murdering her five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. The novel is about a beautiful young woman who is convicted of murdering her two children. The woman's attorney gets the conviction overturned, and she moves away and starts a new life. But when she has two more children with another man, who also go missing in the same way, the nightmare starts all over again.