Tag Archives: MAry Higgins Clark

Book Review of “Shadow of Your Smile” By Mary Higgins Clark

The Shadow of Your Smile

By Mary Higgins Clark

A well crafted novel by Mary Higgins Clark. But I don’t really know whether it is “bestseller” material.
I found it pretty mediocre.

Seems like the author has a fixed formula or a style of portraying her characters.

The story is about an independent young pediatrician Monica Farrell, her entitlement to a fortune she isn’t aware of, her links to a nun, the murder of a relative, some unscrupulous businessmen, greedy relatives, star crossed lovers, a detective, a bit of flying romance with an overall conservative setting – averaging to a typical thriller set in its own pace. 

And it’s weird how the title has no relevance to the plot!

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Book Review of “Just Take My Heart” By Mary Higgins Clark

Just Take My Heart

By Mary Higgins Clark


Mary Higgins Clark delivers yet another entertaining, mystery/thriller with an interesting twist and definitely a gripping plot, like always!
The title itself is so alluring.The story is about a famous actress shot in her house entangling her “soon to be”ex-husband as the prime suspect.
Emily Wallace is put on the case and she has an interesting story of her own. She’s a war widow and had recently undergone a heart transplant, and has a sub-plot revolving around it. Moreover, her creepy neighbor seems to be spying on her bringing in another plot to the gamut. The revelation of the crime bit-by-bit and the unfolding of the entire plot take the reader through a myriad of emotions – all worth it!
And by the end of the book, all you do is praise the author’s art of storytelling.
It is a fast paced story with some amazing courtroom dialogues and drama. The characters seemed a bit stereotypical and the climax was almost predictable, but absolutely enjoyable.

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Book Review of “I Heard That Song Before” By Mary Higgins Clark

I Heard That Song Before

By Mary Higgins Clark

 

When she is six years old, Kay Lansing overhears an argument and a man whistling a song. The story is about what happens twenty years later!

Kay’s mother died when she was very young and her alcoholic father (a landscaper) is presumed to have committed suicide. Kay is brought up by her grandmother in New Jersey. She grows up to become a librarian. She goes to Peter Carrington’s mansion to request him to host a charity fundraiser. The Carrington Family is one of the richest families of US. Peter agrees. But soon they (Kay and Peter) fall in love and marry.

But certain mysteries of the past surface and it shows Peter as a “person of interest” in two murders – one of his fiancée who died after a party and his first wife who drowned to death, and he is also linked with the disappearance of their neighbor Susan Althorp.

To make matters worse, a young girl’s body is found buried on the Carrington estate is unearthed years later and Peter is indicted for murder–days after he returns from his honeymoon with Kay.

Kay stands by her husband even when her grandmother hold Peter responsible for all the tragedies.

The author drops hints letting you sift through the suspects, including Peter, to decide who the murderer is; his dead wife’s mother who still lives on the estate; her son (now a Manhattan gallery-owner with a gambling addiction); a trio of domestic servants; Peter’s chief aide; and assorted parents, friends and relations of the two dead women, the likely identity of the villain shifts from character to character, until aided by a police investigation and the perspective of a private eye hired by the ailing mother of the dead fiancée, everything cleverly falls into place.

As “facts” pile up pointing to his guilt, Peter defends his actions basing them on a serious problem with sleepwalking, a form of automatism.

The court case against Peter is rather compelling and fascinating, as put up by Nicholas Greco, the PI hired by Peter’s first wife’s mother. Greco uncovers information that raises all fingers to Peter’s guilt but certain bits of information soon turn the case in a different direction altogether.

This psychological thriller seems a bit predictable in certain sections but overall it is a very enjoyable, cleverly written, compelling read.

MHC’s trademark of short chapters, cliff-hanger endings, well defined characters and gripping plot deliver yet another interesting read.

 

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Book Review of “Where Are You Now?” By Mary Higgins Clark

Where Are You Now?

By Mary Higgins Clark

Here’s another one of MHC’s suspense filled novel rightfully earning her the longstanding title of “America’s Queen of Suspense”.

There’s intense tension, drama, suspense with a lot of human emotions that keep you hooked throughout. A fast paced read that is absolutely enjoyable.

Ten years ago Charles MacKenzie Jr. (“Mack”) walked out of his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side never to return. Quite a surprising step by a Columbia University senior, about to graduate and already accepted at Duke University Law School. But as a ritual (for the last 10 years), he has been calling his mom every Mother’s Day to tell her that he’s fine and not to look for him. His father dies in the tragedy of 9/11 but that does not bring Mack home or deter his calling pattern.

Mack’s sister Carolyn decides to look for him, beginning from a scratch. She gets a note from Mack stopping her from doing so. But Carolyn isn’t the one to give up so easy. She traces Nick and Bruce, Mack’s roommates back then.

Her investigation leads to the mystery of the disappearing girls and unfolding of many other secrets. This makes her a target of someone who is hell bent on preventing her from solving the mystery – at any cost!

Mack becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of the girls and Carolyn is even more determined to clear his name off. She seems to be entangled in a web of mysteries and accusations. The ending is wrapped up a bit too soon with the revelation of the criminal mind.

There are a lot of characters in the story and each of their stories is beautifully woven to make the book an enjoyable read.

Shifting perspectives during the whole saga keep you wondering and guessing and engrossed till the last page.

MHC is a brilliant writer with clear crisp writing skills and the knack to weave in surprisingly convincing plots.

The fascinating thriller surely tells “a gripping tale of a young woman trying to unravel the mystery of a family tragedy — a quest with terrifying repercussions.”

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Book Review- “No Place Like Home” by Mary Higgins Clark

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

MHC is known as the “Queen of Suspense” and rightly so. No Place Like Home is a fast paced riveting suspense story of Celia Nolan and how the ghosts of her past re-visit her.

Celia Nolan and her four year old son Jack think they are going to see a horse show when Alex Nolan (her husband) takes a detour to Mendham. He discloses that he has bought a new house for Celia as her surprise birthday present. Standing in front of the house Celia is speechless – as if living a nightmare. It was her childhood home where she lived till she was ten.

As a child Liza Barton had it all – loving parents, a wonderful house huge with horse stables. But things fell apart. When she was ten, her father mysteriously died and soon after that she caught her step father Ted Cartwright harassing her mother Audrey Barton, and trying to kill her. In an attempt to save her mother Liza, on having grabbed her father’s gun, ended up firing multiple rounds into her mother’s chest and injuring Ted. Though Liza was acquitted by the Juvenile Court, the media branded her as “Lizzie Borden” (the infamous murderess) pointing to the similarity of their names. And the house earned the appellation “LITTLE LIZZIE’S PLACE. BEWARE!”

As on orphan Liza spent time in juvenile shelter till some distant relatives adopted her. They genuinely loved and cared for Liza; and changed her name to Celia Kellogg. After graduating from college, Celia opened a design studio in Manhattan where she fell in love with her first husband Laurence Foster, a philanthropist and a childless sixty-year-old widower, with whom she had a son, Jack. Two years later Laurence dies leaving her a young widow. But on his deathbed he makes her promise him that she would never reveal her true identity (as Liza Barton) to anyone in order to protect Jack from the stigma of her past.

Two year later she marries Alex Nolan.

Now standing in front of the same house Celia can feel her mind shattering as if she is “returning to the crime scene”. She notices the words “little lizzie’s place – beware” painted on the lawn, splotches of red paint all over the house, and a skull and crossbones carved into the door.

Georgette Grove, the realtor, informs Alex about the history of the house. Thanks to a real estate code obligating agents to notify prospective buyers if a house could be considered “stigmatized property”. Soon Georgette is found murdered and Celia becomes the prime suspect. And she, along with her son, becomes the targets of the killers. The body count increases as their local landscaper, Charley Hatch, is found murdered too.

And someone keeps calling Celia over the phone calling her Little Liza. It seems like someone knows about her past.

Celia is hounded by an obsessed, over-zealous detective; and has a reporter, Dru Perry tracking her relatives in Florida. The District Attorney believes that Celia is innocent but his department discovers that she is indeed Liza Barton. She tries many a times to reveal the truth to Alex but never finds the right time. Celia decides to find out why Ted was in the house the night of the tragedy before coming clean to Alex.

As the mystery is finally solved, after an unexpected twist, Celia’s life is no longer the same.

Most of the characters look guilty leaving you guessing till the very end. This intricate mystery, with shady murder suspects, lies and deceit makes for an entertaining thriller. A worthy read.

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