All Around the Town

All Around the Town

4.4 159
by Mary Higgins Clark

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Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense, crafts a terrifying story of murder and obsession with “a slambam finish” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

When Laurie Kenyon, a twenty-one-year-old student, is accused of murdering her English professor, she has no memory of the crime. Her fingerprints, however, are everywhere. When she asks her sister,

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Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense, crafts a terrifying story of murder and obsession with “a slambam finish” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

When Laurie Kenyon, a twenty-one-year-old student, is accused of murdering her English professor, she has no memory of the crime. Her fingerprints, however, are everywhere. When she asks her sister, attorney Sarah, to mount her defense, Sarah in turn brings in psychiatrist Justin Donnelly. Kidnapped at the age of four and victimized for two years, Laurie has developed astounding coping skills. Only when the unbearable memories of those lost years are released can the truth of the crime come out—and only then can the final sadistic plan of her abductor, whose obsession is stronger than ever, be revealed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
People For sheer storytelling power -- and breathtaking pace -- Clark is without peer.

The New York Times Mary Higgins Clark pushes buttons we never dreamed we had....This is suspenseful stuff, handled with absolute authority.

USA Today Brilliant.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Clark pulls out all the stops in this efficiently suspenseful page-turner, a Literary Guild main selection and a 15-week PW bestseller in cloth, telling of a college senior accused of murder and the televangelist couple who abused her as a child. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
For her ninth sure-fire bestseller, Clark returns to what she does best: using a threatened child (this time, a regressive college-student traumatized by a childhood kidnapping) to grab you by the throat and shake well. Back in 1974, four-year-old Laurie Kenyon was abducted from her posh New Jersey home by Bic and Opal Hawkins, a pair of hippies who raped and terrorized her for two years before the heat got so close they turned her loose. Now she's an honor student at Clinton College who unwittingly harbors four personalities—sexy Leona, truculent Kay, four-year-old Debbie, and a nine-year-old boy—that she's developed to keep her childhood memories at bay. Meanwhile, her kidnappers have transformed themselves into TV preachers on the brink of stardom who keep putting scary photos, knives, and severed chicken heads in Laurie's way in case she recognizes them and wants to speak out. The flash point comes with the murder of personable prof Allan Grant, who'd just gone before the administration with proof that the steamy letters from "Leona" he'd been getting were typed on Laurie's typewriter. When Laurie finds herself standing over Grant unable to remember whether or not she killed him, it's up to big sister Sarah, fanatically dedicated to protecting Laurie, to quit the D.A.'s office, take charge of Laurie's defense, and incidentally begin a chaste romance with Justin Donnelly, who's trying to tease the truth out of all those alter egos even as Bic Opal step up their campaign from threats to violence. Not enough menace for you? Clark even throws in the mystery of who really killed Grant, though her heart's not in it: broad hints from the outset will tip off all but themost witless readers. No whodunit, then—but Clark's legion of fans, enthralled by her undeniable skill in pushing their buttons, won't even notice. Just be grateful the author isn't running for office. (Literary Guild Split Dual Selection for July)

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Pocket Books
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6.80(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.01(d)
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Chapter 10

September 12, 1991 — Ridgewood, New Jersey

During the Mass, Sarah kept glancing sideways at Laurie. The sight of the two casket sat the steps of the sanctuary had clearly mesmerized her. She was staring at them, tearless now,seemingly unaware of the music, the prayers, the eulogy. Sarah had to put a hand under Laurie's elbow to remind her to stand or kneel.

At the end of the mass, as Monsignor Fisher blessed the coffins, Laurie whispered, "Mommy,Daddy, I'm sorry. I won't go out front alone again."

"Laurie," Sarah whispered.

Laurie looked at her with unseeing eyes, then turned and with a puzzled expression studied the crowded church. "So many people." Her voice sounded timid and young.

The closing hymn was "Amazing Grace."

With the rest of the congregation, a couple near the back of the church began to sing, softly at first,but he was used to leading the music. As always he got carried away, his pure baritone becoming louder, soaring above the others, swelling over the thinner voice of the soloist. People turned distracted, admiring.

"'I once was lost but now am found...'"

Through the pain and grief, Laurie felt icy terror.The voice. Ringing through her head, through her being.I am lost, she wailed silently. I am lost.

They were moving the caskets.

The wheels of the bier holding her mother's casket squealed.

She heard the measured steps of the pallbearers.Then the clattering of the typewriter.

"'... was blind but now I see.'"

"No! No!" Laurie shrieked as she crumpled into merciful darkness.

Several dozen of Laurie's classmates from Clinton College had attended the mass, along with a sprinkling of faculty. Allan Grant, Professor of English, was there and with shocked eyes watched Laurie collapse.

Grant was one of the most popular teachers at Clinton. Just turned 40, he had thick, somewhat unruly brown hair, liberally streaked with gray.Large dark brown eyes that expressed humor and intelligence were the best feature in his somewhat long face. His lanky body and casual dress completed an appearance that many young women undergraduates found irresistible.

Grant was genuinely interested in his students.Laurie had been in one of his classes every year since she entered Clinton. He knew her personal history and had been curious to see if there might be any observable after effects of her abduction. The only time he'd picked up anything had been in his creative writing class. Laurie was incapable of writing a personal memoir. On the other hand, her critiques of books, authors and plays were insightful and thought-provoking.

Three days ago she had been in his class when the word came for her to go to the office immediately.The class was ending and, sensing trouble, he had accompanied her. As they hurried across the campus, she'd told him that her mother and father were driving down to switch cars with her. She'd forgotten to have her convertible inspected and had returned to college in her mother's sedan. "They're probably just running late," she'd said, obviously trying to reassure herself. "My mother says I'm too much of a worrier about them. But she hasn't been that well and Dad is almost 72."

Somberly the dean told them that there had been a multi vehicle accident on Route 78.

Allan Grant drove Laurie to the hospital. Her sister, Sarah, was already there, her cloud of dark red hair framing a face dominated by large gray eyes that were filled with grief. Grant had met Sarah at a number of college functions and been impressed with the young assistant prosecutor's protective attitude toward Laurie.

One look at her sister's face was enough to make Laurie realize that her parents were dead. Over and over she kept moaning "my fault, my fault," seeming not to hear Sarah's tearful insistence that she must not blame herself.

Distressed, Grant watched as an usher carried Laurie from the nave of the church, Sarah beside him. The organist began to play the recessional hymn. The pallbearers, led by the monsignor,started to walk slowly down the aisle. In the row in front of him, Grant saw a man making his way to the end of the pew. "Please excuse me. I'm a doctor," he was saying, his voice low but authoritative.

Some instinct made Allan Grant slip into the aisle and follow him to the small room off the vestibule where Laurie had been taken. She was lying on two chairs that had been pushed together.Sarah, her face chalk white, was bending over her.

"Let me..." The doctor touched Sarah's arm.

Laurie stirred and moaned.

The doctor raised her eyelids, felt her pulse."She's coming around but she must be taken home.She's in no condition to go to the cemetery."

"I know."

Allan saw how desperately Sarah was trying to keep her own composure. "Sarah," he said. She turned, seemingly aware of him for the first time."Sarah, let me go back to the house with Laurie.She'll be okay with me."

"Oh, would you?" For an instant gratitude replaced the strain and grief in her expression. "Some of the neighbors are there preparing food, but Laurie trusts you so much. I'd be so relieved."

I once was lost but now am found...

A hand was coming at her holding the knife, the knife dripping with blood, slashing through the air.Her shirt and overalls were soaked with blood. She could feel the sticky warmth on her face. Something was flopping at her feet. The knife was coming...

Laurie opened her eyes. She was in bed in her own room. It was dark. What happened?

She remembered. The church. The caskets. The singing.

"Sarah!" she shrieked, "Sarah! Where are you?"

Copyright © 1992 by Mary Higgins Clark

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All Around the Town 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book more than it! One of her very best!!
tgritsonis More than 1 year ago
It is the first book I've read by this author. The lady at our local Laundromat leaves her old books for customers to read. I don't like reading but this was a very easy read. It kept you going. It normally takes me at least a month to finish a book. This one took me two days.
Panic_Parade More than 1 year ago
This book had a definite wow factor there were two plots in one novel and they both had their own ending it was really a great way to go about this novel you really started to feel for the different characters and mind frames you knew where they were coming from and exactly how they felt the ending could have been a little longer but that's not my decision the whole novel in all had beautiful writing style and kept you guessing, i will admit i saw one of the endings coming but i had doubts the whole time if i was right or wrong witch i feel is better then being completely in the dark like you would be with a James Patterson novel (i read thriller mystery's on a daily basis so i usually can guess the culprit while other readers are still in the dark so don't think its easy to guess)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book probably five times now. It is by far myfavorite book yet!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me spell bound. I was even reading it between commercials while watching my favorite TV programs. Reading while eating and reading on breaks at work. I always hate when the stories end. I love the endings but feel I am missing something. Its like a good movie you don't want to end. So rare and few and far between but you know you can always pick up another one of Mary Higgins Clarks books with and equally inspiring story.
SillyJilly More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favorite Mary Higgins Clark book. It gives me the chills to this day and I read this book years ago. I cannot look at a rocking chair the same way. Very hard to put down once you start so make sure to have the whole weekend!
bmamca36 More than 1 year ago
MHC is one of my favorite authors and this is one of her best. It is a fast moving story and is never dull. A have read this book several times and will keep to read again in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All Around the Town is a wonderfully written novel by Mary Higgins Clark. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves mysteries because it is suspenseful and it keeps you guessing through the entire plot. The main character, Laurie Kenyon, is a strong, but vulnerable, young woman. She was kidnaped at the young age of four. While she was in possession of her kidnappers she developed multiple personality disorder. When she returned home her alter personalities went into hiding, but never completely went away. When her parents were killed in a car accident and one of her college professors was murdered they resurfaced. This part of the plot, in my eyes, was the most creative because multiple personality disorder is a rare dieses and it creates an interesting twist to the plot. This novel has twists, turns, surprises, and more that make this one of the most interesting novels I have ever read and you should definitely read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I have read! I absolutely loved it! It was perfect, everything about it... it was one of those books that was too interesting to put down... but I had to... so it took like a week to read, but that's really short time for me to read a book... because I usually take forever! There were no slow points in this book either... nothing to make me get bored and stop reading, everytime I had to stop I was so annoyed! If you read it and like it do NOT see the movie... it totally ruined it and was just a bad version of the story... too much of it was squished in a couple hours... a lot of it was skipped... just don't see it... but read the book! It was great!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a WONDERFUL book!! I have always loved mystery, but this is my all time favorite!! A must read. You will experience a never before feeling of sympathy and hope for Laurie and her sister Sarah.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never really enjoyed reading, but this book was so captivating that I enjoyed it so much. I read it in four days. Thats something I've never done. This book drew me in from the moment i read the first page. I would suggest everyone read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly fascinating story line. I really enjoyed the plot to this book. A traumatized young girl goes through a tremendous ordeal and comes out of the incident with multiple personality disorder. I believe it took tremendous talent to be able to write such an intense and complicated character and make it comprehensive to the reader at the same time. I highly recommend this book. All Around the Town has a lot of unsuspected twists and turns so enjoy the ride.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book contains the adventure of returning to the people you love. It intails the stimulating and mystery that will intangle your life. You will be caught up in the book so you will never want to put it down. There is an element of surprise and shock that drags you into the book as you follow with your eyes so closly. There seems to be a stimulating force that keeps drawing you back to complete the book. After you have finished you seemed completly attached not wanting to let go of the characters. After you finish this book you will want to go to the bookstore to grab another Mary Higgins Clark book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is very interesting, not only is it a good story but its so amazing how ann older man could fall in love with a little girl. Also how this little girl developes so many personalaties is the most amazzing thing I have ever read. Actually I never liked reading before this book but now I love it. Also I could never get tired of reading it If read it twice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I have a choice, I would give 6 stars for this book. This was the first Mary Higgin's Clark's books that I read for a book report in high school. I got hooked with her books ever since. This was only one of her very best. If you don't believe me, just read it and you can see for yourself. I highly recommended this one and her other stories too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All Around the Town was one of Mary Higgins Clark's best novels. She held my attention for the whole day. I couldn't put it down. She used the helpless child who was traumatized for the over stressed college woman and who over the years had still not learned to cope with her feelings, and wouldn't/couldn't remember her abduction which holds the very key to setting her free from her accusations of being a murderer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captures you right away and makes you very interested so that you can't wait to see what happens next. After finishing this book I couln't wait to read another book by Mary Higgins Clark.
Anonymous 11 months ago
bucmjt 12 months ago
All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark is an amazing book. With so many books on the best sellers lists, I expected nothing less. The ending felt a bit rushed, but I was totally enthralled by everything else. A well rounded, complete novel. Definitely a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is the 1st one i read by her and i couldn't put it down, since then I've read it multiple times and will probably keep reading it, one of my favorite books ever! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
chysuz More than 1 year ago
It's hard to review this book Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favorite writers but,don't continue reading to read the reviews if you are thinking of purchasing this book. Ever been watching a movie and someone comes in and tells you the end of it? Well if you continue reading the reviews  M_SANCHEZ not only tells the first & middle of the book they also tell you who murdered the professor. This totally ruined the book for me because now I will not buy it, Come on guys give your opinion but, don't give the suspense of the story line and ruin it for others.  
rmd270 More than 1 year ago
Crisply written with many twists and turns involving multiple personalities and murder. This story starts with the scary and very creepy abduction of Laurie as a 4-year old to her present day 20 year old multi-persona who is charged with murder. Lots of interesting tangent characters add to the depth of the story line development revolving around sisters Sarah and Laurie. The story builds from page one and ends in a fast pace closing crescendo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago