All Around the Town

( 152 )

Overview

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 ...

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All Around the Town

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Overview

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.

The spellbinding New York Times bestseller from today's reigning queen of suspense. With a terrifying twist at the climax, the author of Loves Music, Loves to Dance takes readers on an emotionally riveting journey into the mind of a tortured women--accused of murder--who is at the mercy of a psychopathic personality. "For sheer storytelling power--and breathtaking pace--Clark is without peer."--People.

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671793487
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 93,932
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.20 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 152 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(101)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 152 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    My Favorite of Mary's

    I have read this book more than once...love it! One of her very best!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    It is the first book I've read by this author. The lady at our l

    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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Great book!!

    I have read this book probably five times now. It is by far myfavorite book yet!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    This is one of the better books, she has written in my opinion. I really enjoy Mary Higgins Clark and was surprised this was he first work.

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    A New Favorite

    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)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Mary Higgins Clark at her best!

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2004

    Not one of her best

    All Around the Town is predictable and lame. The mystery is easily solved in the first fifty pages, the identity of the kidnapper is figured out after one or two clues. This makes the rest of the book boring and, to be honest, very irritating. The mystery can be solved by a reasonably smart chimpanzee and therefore this book has no suspense.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    MHC Always Amazing

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    I really liked it!

    I enjoyed it. I read it pretty quickly...I've only read a few of her books but I like her style. If you have read her books before, you'll like it. If your new to her writing, you'll become a fan.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2010

    I LIKE IT

    Around The Town is a mystery book. The author purpose is that teach the psychological problems that a person can have when they were raped as a kid. The story take place near New York it was at Laurie house, she was a friendly girl and consequence of that she was kidnapped when she as just a little girl. She was sexual abused and psychological by a couple. During two years they have not another alternative to let her go because someone recognize her by a TV show. She was threaded if she say something about them. After all of this she returned to her house she never anted to talk about what had happen because she was afraid to remember because she as thread and if she say something they will kill her. While the days had happen she tried to had a normal life with her family help. After her parents pass way in a car accident her psychological problems started to rise and stared to have different personalities. Her sister decided to sale her house and move to another city because she wanted that her sister forget the past. She was accused to kill her English professor because one of her personalities feel attractive with him but later on discovered that the wife was the one who kill him. I liked this book because the author created suspense in the whole story. I agree with the message because any person who has in the same situation have the have problems even worst . The part I liked the most was when they were investigating who was kill the professor. The author did a good job because she always keep my attention. I recommend to all the people who like to read mystery books

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2008

    Another Awsome Mary Higgins Clark Book

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2007

    Freaked me Out!

    But in a good way. I, my sister, and my dad all read it within a week. Whenever we talk about it, it gives us chills. The plot is gripping and the climax sensational! I LOVED IT!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2005

    I LOVED IT!

    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!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2005

    Terrificully suspensful and many surprises

    It starts off with Laurie Kenyon as a little girl who gets kidnapped by people named Bic and Opal. Bic and Opal get very close to getting caught so they abandon her. Laurie is returned to her parents, and the book jumps to when she is 21. Laurie is having nightmares and other problems because her parents died and she thinks that it is her fault. Her older sister Sarah decides to take her to a pshyciatrist. Laurie turns out to have a split personality. Meanwhile back on her campus her English professor is recieving love letters, and blames them on Laurie. Laurie finds out he is blaming her, and she threatens him. That same night he is murdered. Who did it to him? I liked this novel because it wasn't a put-me-to-sleep book. It was sort of confusing though.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2004

    All Around The Town

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    Spectactular, Amazing!!!!!!!!!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    All Around Great!

    Mary Higgins Clark captivates the reader in a realistically written All Around The Town. Set in Ridgewood New Jersey, a healthy four year old was kidnapped from her front porch. After being returned two years later, she suffered from a multiple personality disorder that could have either worked for her or against her. The events of this gave it a realistic touch. All Around The Town is a story that touches people young and old. It demonstrates the dangers and consequences of leaving children outside like four-year-old Laurie Kenyon. Laurie was a curious girl abducted by two aspiring preachers Bic and Opal. Bic was thoroughly obsessed with little Laurie and renamed he Lee. During the time Laurie was with this couple she developed multiple personalities to help at coping with the trauma. Back at home Laurie¿s older sister Sarah promised God that if he returned her little sister she would take care of her. Sarah¿s wish would come true in two years. After being returned home, her four other personalities subsided until her parents died. The trauma of her death brought the need for he other personalities. Laurie¿s alter personality Leona was a sexy woman obsessed with Laurie¿s English Professor Allan Grant. Sarah realizes her sister¿s problem and begs her to go to a psychiatrist named Dr. Donelly. Under Donelly¿s guidance, three other personalities were discovered. Soon after Laurie began therapy, her professor is found dead. Laurie was blamed fro the crime after all the evidence pointed to her. The only thing that could save her from being arrested is one of her alter personalities,the boy with the forbidden name. Along with many other events, Mary Higgins Clark produced a very suspense filled, yet touching story. The characters in the story seem so real you can picture them in your mind as though you were right next to them. There is use of irony in the story, which makes it even more interesting to read. All Around The Town is truly an exciting book filled with surprise and suspense with a touch of romance. Readers are sure to love this touching story of a child¿s survival into adulthood. It is surely and eye catcher.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2002

    Superficial, Predictable, and Unrealistic

    All Around the Town recooked the dry and tasteless politically correct plot--young girl gets kidnapped by evil pedophile, suffers mental trauma in the form of multiple personality disorder, and undertakes therapy to purge herself of disabling memories in hopes of becoming healthy and happy once more. Clark adds a few twists to the story in the form of an interesting but predictable murder mystery. With superficial characters the reader can't relate to and almost no noticeable research on the topic of MPD, All Around the Town is disappointing, to say the least. However, if the reader is looking for a quick read to settle down for the night, the story is entertaining enough.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2001

    Fascinating Plot!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2001

    The best book ever

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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