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Before I Say Good-Bye

Before I Say Good-Bye

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by Mary Higgins Clark, Valerie Leonard
     
 

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Mary Higgins Clark, America's "Queen of Suspense," delves into the mystery of psychic powers and communication with the dead in her gripping new thriller, Before I Say Good-Bye.

When Adam Cauliff's new cabin cruiser, Cornelia II, blows up in New York harbor with him and several close business associates aboard, his wife, Nell MacDermott, is not

Overview

Mary Higgins Clark, America's "Queen of Suspense," delves into the mystery of psychic powers and communication with the dead in her gripping new thriller, Before I Say Good-Bye.

When Adam Cauliff's new cabin cruiser, Cornelia II, blows up in New York harbor with him and several close business associates aboard, his wife, Nell MacDermott, is not only distraught at the loss but wracked with guilt because she and Adam had just had a serious quarrel and she had told him not to come home.

The quarrel was precipitated by Nell's decision to try to win the congressional seat long held by her grandfather Cornelius MacDermott. Orphaned at age ten, she had been raised by "Mac," as she called him, and was always at his side on Capitol Hill. Politics was in her blood, and Adam had known her ambitions when they married. Suddenly, however, he became opposed to her plan to run for Congress.

Nell, like her great-aunt Gert, possesses psychic gifts, which her grandfather scoffingly dismisses as "flights of fantasy." As a child she had been aware of the deaths of both her parents and grandmother at the exact moment they died. She knew because at that very moment she sensed their presence near her.

Even though Nell has the rare gift of extrasensory perception, she is much too levelheaded to accept most of the claims made by many so-called psychics and is skeptical about Aunt Gert's fascination with mediums. After Adam's death, however, Gert begs Nell to see a medium, Bonnie Wilson, who has contacted her, claiming she is in touch with Adam. Still regretting her last angry words to Adam, Nell agrees, hoping that she will be able to reach him through the medium and part from him in peace.

As the investigation into the boat's explosion proceeds, Nell is shocked by the official confirmation that it was not an accident but the result of foul play. Adam, an architect, had been involved in a major construction project on land he had recently purchased and which had since had a spectacular rise in value.

Was Adam the target of the explosion? Or was it Winifred Johnson, his self-effacing, fifty-two-year-old assistant, who knew too much about bribery in the construction business and who was openly in love with him? Or was it Sam Krause, a builder with a questionable reputation who was involved in the new project? Or Jimmy Ryan, the debt-ridden construction foreman whose wife, after his death, discovers money hidden in their home? Or was it Peter Lang, the wealthy man-about-town real-estate entrepreneur, whose minor traffic accident caused him to miss the fatal meeting on the boat?

As Nell searches for the truth about Adam's death, she carries out instructions from Adam transmitted through the medium. What she does not know is that she is being closely watched, and the nearer she comes to learning what actually happened on the boat that night, the nearer she is to becoming the next victim of a ruthless killer.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Spirited Suspense

Since the publication of her first blockbuster novel, Where Are the Children?, nearly 30 years ago, Mary Higgins Clark had been delighting her readers with high-class, spine-tingling suspense, becoming something of a legend in the publishing business. Her latest effort, Before I Say Good-bye, is no exception. It combines Clark's trademark woman-in-jeopardy theme with an elaborate plot that has more wrinkles in it than a shar-pei. And as if her usual chills and thrills weren't enough, Clark gives her readers a bonus in the form of a few ghosts and some spooky episodes of clairvoyance.

Nell MacDermott learned the meaning of tragedy at a tender age. She was only ten years old when she had a vision of her parents coming to school to say goodbye to her. Within an hour of that vision, Nell's grandfather, Congressman Cornelius MacDermott, arrived at the school with the news that Nell's parents had perished in a plane crash. Five years later, caught in a deadly riptide that threatened to drown her, Nell once again had a "visit" from her parents. This time, they gave her the courage and strength to hold on when her struggles against the riptide threatened to overwhelm her.

As an adult living in Manhattan, Nell views her strange experiences with a cautious and somewhat jaundiced eye. While she doesn't doubt the reality of what happened, she finds it hard to buy into the whole paranormal experience in general. And that suits her grandfather just fine, given that he expects Nell to step into his shoes as a congressman now that he's retired. Nell isn't averse to the idea; the old man's political inclinations are in her blood, too. But her husband, Adam, whom Cornelius has never liked, is strongly opposed to the idea.

Adam's objections become a moot point when his boat, occupied by himself and three other people, is blown to bits in a mysterious explosion. Reeling from her husband's death, Nell is forced to take a second look at her life...and her marriage. She doesn't much care for what she sees, and the picture rapidly grows worse when an investigation into the explosion reveals that it was no accident. Faced with the possibility that her husband wasn't who she thought he was and that a killer may well be on the loose, Nell is pulled into her own investigation. Her unusual abilities provide some assistance, but by the time the complex truth is revealed, Nell has had several visions of people's deaths -- including her own.

Clark has always been a master plotter, and her shrewd use of clever red herrings makes Before I Say Good-bye a treat for mystery fans. The characters are complex enough to be intriguing, imperfect enough to seem real, and enmeshed in a story that bundles up several deadly sins -- avarice, envy, pride, and wrath. The twists and turns will keep readers enthralled and guessing right up until the end. And the paranormal elements make for a spirited visit to a world where nothing is what it seems -- in this realm or the next. This one is Mary Higgins Clark at her chilling and charming best.

—Beth Amos

Library Journal
With an intriguing story line embellished by psychic phenomena and extrasensory perception, this novel is another best seller. Nell McDermott is a political columnist and the granddaughter of a wealthy, well-connected, retired Congressman who has raised her since both her parents were killed in an accident. Nell had the psychic gift then to feel the presence of her parents' spirits right after they died, although she was not present at the scene of their deaths. Cornelius McDermott, her grandfather, has spent most of his political career preparing Nell as his prot g e and heir apparent in the New York political scene. But when Nell marries Adam Cauliff, an architect on the rise, her political ambitions are suspended; all she wants is a happy, workable marriage. Still, her powerful grandfather wants her to run for his Congressional seat. Good characterizations by Jan Maxwell; expect this to circulate.--Kristin M. Jacobi, Eastern Connecticut State Univ., Willimantic Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Clark's heavy-breathing 22nd asks who planted a bomb on a rising architect's yacht, and whether the killer may be closing in on his widow. One minute the Cornelia II was lying peacefully at anchor off New York Harbor; the next a fireball had reduced the ship to ashes, along with its four passengers: owner Adam Cauliff, who'd planned the harbor outing as a way of bringing together the major participants in the Vandermeer Tower project he'd designed; Winifred Johnson, the loyal assistant who'd followed him from his old architectural firm; Vandermeer contractor Sam Krause; and Jimmy Ryan, probable site manager for the job. Krause, about to be indicted for bid fixing, leaves no one behind to lament his abrupt passing. But Adam and Jimmy are copiously mourned by their widows, old-money newspaper columnist Nell MacDermott, inconsolable because she'd just quarreled with Adam over her decision to seek her grandfather's old congressional seat, and no-money manicurist Lisa Ryan, who can't imagine how she'll raise the three children Jimmy left behind. But some fortuitous discoveries among Adam's and Jimmy's effects—secret compartments, safe-deposit-box keys, and all the rest—swiftly persuade their wives that there was more to the explosion than the leaking fuel line police had originally favored, and a young child who witnessed the blast has been having nightmares that suggests somebody may have survived. Was it Adam, Jimmy, Winifred, or Krause? Or was the whole scheme engineered by Peter Lang, the big-deal developer who'd masterminded the Vandermeer project but missed the boat that took his fellow-players to Davy Jones's locker?Lesssuspense and more honest-to-goodness mystery than most of Clark's best-selling output (We'll Meet Again, 1999, etc.), though the author telegraphs each twist so conscientiously that few fans will be fooled. Literary Guild main seledtion; author tour

From the Publisher
The New York Times Book Review Mary Higgins Clark knows what she's doing....This savvy author comes up with something unexpected....A hold-your-breath ending.

Publishers Weekly Romantic suspense has no more reliable champion than Mary Higgins Clark. Her characters are...breezy and fun, and so is this confection of a book.

Los Angeles Times For someone who loves plot, Mary Higgins Clark's Before I Say Good-bye should be like manna from heaven....America's "Queen of Suspense" clearly knows what her readers want. Here she provides it, in spades.

New York Post A smooth and easy read.

The Hartford Courant(CT) The storytelling skills of the newest grand master of mystery writing have never been better.

The Christian Science Monitor Clark holds the reins the whole way through this tale of mischief and secrets, allowing us to unwind her labyrinth of hidden clues only as she wants them to unfold.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel(TN) Hard to put down....It's what a vacation book should be.

Tulsa World(OK) Yet another pearl Clark can add to her worldwide bestsellers.

Midwest Book Review Fun and exciting....Clark provides her myriad of fans with another enthralling tale filled with action and adventure.

The Anniston Star (AL) Fascinating enough that I read it through in one sitting....Well worth reading for all your mystery fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792728405
Publisher:
AudioGO
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Pages:
8

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Eleven

"I don't feel good," eight-year-old Ben Tucker complained to his father as they stood at the railing of the tour boat that was returning from a visit to the Statue of Liberty.

"The water's getting choppy," his father acknowledged, "but we'll be on shore soon. Pay attention to the view. You won't get back to see New York again for a long time, and I want you to remember everything that you see."

Ben's glasses were smudged, and he pulled them off to clean them. He's going to tell me again that the Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France, but it wasn't until that lady, Emma Lazarus, wrote a poem to help raise money for a base that it got put up here. He's going to tell me again that my great-great-grandfather was one of the kids who helped collect the money. "Give me your huddled masses yearning to be free..." All right. Give me a break, Ben thought.

He actually had liked going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, but now he was sorry he'd come because he felt as though he was going to barf. This tub smelled of diesel fuel.

Longingly he gazed at the private yachts around them in New York harbor. He wished he were on one of them. Someday, when he made money, that was the first thing he'd do -- buy a cabin cruiser. When they started out a couple of hours ago, there had been a couple of dozen boats in the water. Now that it was getting overcast, there weren't so many out.

Ben's eyes lingered on the really keen yacht way over there: the Cornelia II. He was so farsighted that with his glasses off he could read the letters.

Suddenly his eyes widened. "No-o-o-o...!"

He didn't know that he had even spoken aloud, nor was he aware that his word -- half protest, half prayer -- had been echoed by virtually everyone on the starboard side of the tour boat, as well as by all the observers in lower Manhattan and in New Jersey who at that moment happened to be looking in that direction.

As he had been watching it, Cornelia II had exploded, suddenly becoming an immense fireball, sending shiny bits of debris shooting high into the air before falling all over the waterway that led from the Atlantic Ocean to the harbor.

Before Ben's father had spun him around and clutched him against his side, and before merciful shock had blunted the vision of bodies being blown to bits, Ben registered an impression that settled immediately in his subconscious, where it would stay, to become the source of relentless nightmares.

Copyright © 2000 by Mary Higgins Clark

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-four suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel; two children’s books; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 24, 1929
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
Website:
http://www.simonsays.com/subs/index.cfm?areaid=12

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Before I Say Good-Bye 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. Of course I am a lover of anything that has to do with the supernatural. This book was a definate page turner and you cannot put it down. It keeps you guessing the entire time. I loved this book so much that I was almost to the point of crying when the book ended. I think anyone would enjoy this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. Like most people said, it does have a lot of characters. I was worried that i might not be able to follow it, so i wrote all the characters names down as they were introduced. It was much easier that way. This book was very easy to read, and each character introduced was vital to the plot. The only thing that kind of through me off was the way that the ending was so predictable. Still a MUST READ!!!! get this book for your own good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my second Mary Higgins Clark book, and I need no more to tell she is from now on one of my favorite authors. No matter how many clues one thinks she is giving, the next page puts some new doubts. Excellent book, excellent writer
VickiDee More than 1 year ago
Not as action packed as her other stories. Still a good read. I love Mary Higgins Clark's books
momsteddybear More than 1 year ago
It was so nice to find a Mary Higgins Clark book that I had not already read. I think I have read every one of her books. I even turned my daughter on to her. Very suspenseful, could not turn the pages fast enough at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Loved the plot and characters! Very good romantic suspense novel! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy reading and very interesting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't want to put down but it's hard to keep up with all the characters
MamaLouBebe More than 1 year ago
Life can be strange, and shocking. This book keeps you caught up in the plot right to the very end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This action packed thriller grasped my attention as the book was nearing the end. Mary Higgins Clark uses many foreshadowing clues to disguise the ending, which is no sooner revealed, than the moment you shut the book. The novel also reveales to readers that dreams can come true, if only you overcome the many obstacles standing in your path.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HAVE READ AT LEAST TWICE AND SEEN MOVIES NUMEROUS TIMES ON LIFETIME XOXOXOXO COOKIES CCaa
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Go to 'noip'.
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JoyECS More than 1 year ago
Good story.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
I've read several of MHC's books before, and this one did not disappoint. Twists, turns, and a great ending. The characters were all very well developed, and you even develop a type of sympathy for Adam, even though he's a bit of a bastard. I do recommend this book, and it will keep its place on my bookshelf.
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