Let Me Call You Sweetheart

( 43 )

Overview

In this mass market reissue from America’s Queen of Suspense, an investigation into the connection between a long-ago murder and a plastic surgeon’s obsession with a perfect face catapults prosecutor Kerry McGrath into the strange and ominous territory of those so hungry for beauty they’ll kill for it.

It’s a minor accident that brings prosecutor Kerry McGrath to the plastic surgeon’s office with her beloved daughter, Robin. But even as the doctor assures Kerry that her ...

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Overview

In this mass market reissue from America’s Queen of Suspense, an investigation into the connection between a long-ago murder and a plastic surgeon’s obsession with a perfect face catapults prosecutor Kerry McGrath into the strange and ominous territory of those so hungry for beauty they’ll kill for it.

It’s a minor accident that brings prosecutor Kerry McGrath to the plastic surgeon’s office with her beloved daughter, Robin. But even as the doctor assures Kerry that her daughter’s scars will heal, she spies a familiar-looking beautiful woman in the waiting room and is seized by an overpowering sense of deja vu. When, on a return visit, she sees the same haunting face—on another woman—she has an intense flash of recognition: it’s the face of Suzanne Reardon, the “Sweetheart Murder” victim, killed more than ten years ago! But for what possible reason would Dr. Smith be giving his patients the face of a dead woman?

As Kerry immerses herself in a fresh investigation, each new piece of evidence she unearths reveals a disturbing cache of questions. Not only does everyone involved want to keep the case closed, it’s clear somebody will stop at nothing to keep it sealed forever.

Interweaving fascinating characters with deeply daring, staggeringly unpredictable plot twists, Mary Higgins Clark reminds us that she is, indeed, America’s Queen of Suspense.

America's "Queen of Suspense" serves up another spine-tingling tale of murder and obsession. When Kerry McGrath recognizes a young woman as the victim of the infamous "Sweetheart Murder" case, she realizes that a terrible miscarriage of justice is about to take place. For, the woman's husband--her accused murderer--awaits his fate on death row.

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  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart
    Let Me Call You Sweetheart  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The latest from the Clark suspense factory has a spunky New Jersey prosecutor, Kerry McGrath, as its heroine in danger. Kerry has taken an interest in a 10-year-old murder case, in which Skip Reardon had been found guilty of slaying his beautiful wife, Suzanne, and has since been pleading his innocence from his jail cell. When Kerry's small daughter, Robin, goes to a New York plastic surgeon after a car crash, it is apparent that Dr. Smith, who was Suzanne's father, is weird. He seems to be fashioning the faces of young women to resemble his dead daughter-and it was his testimony that sent Skip to jail. Kerry's interest in the case (and her parallel interest in Skip's good-guy lawyer) may harm her chances of a judgeship, and it also draws the ominous attention of another possible suspect, James Weeks, a wealthy real-estate magnate with rumored mob connections. Then there's elegant, tasteful art burglar Jason Arnott, who had also known Suzanne.... As usual, Clark's plot, unfolded in dozens of short chapters, is convoluted, full of red herrings and finally wrapped up with a villain out of left field. The writing is crisp but colorless, characterization minimal, atmosphere nonexistent; but the cozy evocation of a deserving damsel in distress who attains a happy ending seems never to disappoint her legions of fans.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The latest from the Clark suspense factory has a spunky New Jersey prosecutor, Kerry McGrath, as its heroine in danger. Kerry has taken an interest in a 10-year-old murder case, in which Skip Reardon had been found guilty of slaying his beautiful wife, Suzanne, and has since been pleading his innocence from his jail cell. When Kerry's small daughter, Robin, goes to a New York plastic surgeon after a car crash, it is apparent that Dr. Smith, who was Suzanne's father, is weird. He seems to be fashioning the faces of young women to resemble his dead daughter-and it was his testimony that sent Skip to jail. Kerry's interest in the case (and her parallel interest in Skip's good-guy lawyer) may harm her chances of a judgeship, and it also draws the ominous attention of another possible suspect, James Weeks, a wealthy real-estate magnate with rumored mob connections. Then there's elegant, tasteful art burglar Jason Arnott, who had also known Suzanne.... As usual, Clark's plot, unfolded in dozens of short chapters, is convoluted, full of red herrings and finally wrapped up with a villain out of left field. The writing is crisp but colorless, characterization minimal, atmosphere nonexistent; but the cozy evocation of a deserving damsel in distress who attains a happy ending seems never to disappoint her legions of fans. One million first printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Prosecutor and aspiring judge Kerry McGrath can kiss the judgeship goodbye if she snoops into the murder of the beautiful Suzanne Reardon. Ten years earlier, the seemingly open-and-shut case propelled political careers and doomed the husband, Skip Reardon, to a 30-year sentence despite his desperate pleas of innocence. While sitting in the waiting room of a plastic surgeon, Dr. Smith, Kerry sees a patient who looks exactly like Suzanne Reardon. Kerry's shock is surpassed days later when she sees another. Questioning Dr. Smith wildly ruffles his feathers, and when Kerry learns that the doctor's testimony helped convict Skip Reardon, she teams up with Reardon's attorney and scours the world of gem thiefs, murderers, child stalkers, the Irish Mafia, and more to solve the mystery. This latest by the popular author of The Lottery Winner (S. & S., 1994) should do well in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/95.]-Cynthia Ann Cordes, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
School Library Journal
YA-Kerry McGrath, a young attorney on her way to a judgeship, seeks the medical assistance of plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Smith when her daughter is injured in a car accident. While waiting for Robin in the doctor's office, Kerry is amazed to see two women sharing the same face. She is further confused to discover that the face is that of Dr. Smith's own daughter, Suzanne Reardon, murdered 10 years earlier. Skip, Suzanne's husband, is serving a life sentence for her death. His attorney soon gets Kerry's interest in appealing Skip's conviction as well as attracting her romantically. The cast of characters includes Kerry's boss; her benefactors and great friends, State Senator Jonathan Hoover and his invalid wife; and her former husband, who is defending a Mafia client. All of their paths cross as Kerry must choose between her professional future and her belief in Skip Reardon's innocence. A suspenseful novel that's sure to please Clark's fans and create some new ones.-Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA
Rebecca Mandalay
Addicts of the queen of suspense won't be able to resist her latest novel, in which Kerry McGrath's chance encounter with a creepy plastic surgeon sends her on a mission to right a past injustice. As an attorney with a judgeship in her future, Kerry's energies suddenly turn to protecting her young daughter and to finding out who really killed Suzanne Reardon 10 years earlier. Could it be Dr. Smith, the surgeon who keeps creating Suzanne's beautiful face for his female clients? Or Kerry's boss, who convicted Suzanne's husband of the murder? Or Jimmy Weeks, a rich thug? (Or any of Clark's other suspicious characters?) With an assorted cast of manipulators and truth seekers, Mary Higgins Clark reveals the real crime--in her own inimitable style. A one million first printing guarantees demand.
From the Publisher
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review "Ms. Clark is a natural-born storyteller....she taps into some elemental fear that really gives you the willies."

Fran Wood New York Daily News "Clark fans will be mesmerized."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671568177
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 360,274
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.87 (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 One

Kerry smoothed down the skirt of her dark green suit, straightened the narrow gold chain on her neck and ran her fingers through her collar-length, dusky blond hair. Her entire afternoon had been a mad rush, leaving the courthouse at two-thirty, picking up Robin at school, driving from Hohokus through the heavy traffic of Routes 17 and 4, then over the George Washington Bridge to Manhattan, finally parking the car and arriving at the doctor's office just in time for Robin's four o'clock appointment.

Now, after all the rush, Kerry could only sit and wait to be summoned into the examining room, wishing that she'd been allowed to be with Robin while the stitches were removed. But the nurse had been adamant. "During a procedure, Dr. Smith will not permit anyone except the nurse in the room with a patient."

"But she's only ten!" Kerry had protested, then had closed her lips and reminded herself that she should be grateful that Dr. Smith was the one who had been called in after the accident. The nurses at St. Luke's-Roosevelt had assured her that he was a wonderful plastic surgeon. The emergency room doctor had even called him a miracle worker.

Reflecting back on that day, a week ago, Kerry realized she still hadn't recovered from the shock of that phone call. She'd been working late in her office at the courthouse in Hackensack, preparing for the murder case she would be prosecuting, taking advantage of the fact that Robin's father, her ex-husband, Bob Kinellen, had unexpectedly invited Robin to see New York City's Big Apple Circus, followed by dinner.

At six-thirty her phone had rung. It was Bob. There had been an accident. A van had rammed into his Jaguar while he was pulling out of the parking garage. Robin's face had been cut by flying glass. She'd been rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt, and a plastic surgeon had been called. Otherwise she seemed fine, although she was being examined for internal injuries.

Remembering that terrible evening, Kerry shook her head. She tried to push out of her mind the agony of the hurried drive into New York, dry sobs shaking her body, her lips forming only one word, "please," her mind racing with the rest of the prayer, Please God, don't let her die, she's all I have. Please, she's just a baby. Don't take her from me...

Robin was already in surgery when Kerry had arrived at the hospital, so she had sat in the waiting room, Bob next to her — with him but not with him. He had a wife and two other children now. Kerry could still feel the overwhelming sensation of relief she had experienced when Dr. Smith had finally appeared, and in a formal and oddly condescending manner had said, "Fortunately the lacerations did not deeply penetrate the dermis. Robin will not be scarred. I want to see her in my office in one week."

The cuts proved to be her only injuries, and Robin had bounced back from the accident, missing only two days of school. She had seemed to be somewhat proud of her bandages. It was only today, on their way into New York for the appointment, that she'd sounded frightened when she asked, "I will be okay, won't I, Mom? I mean my face won't be all messed up?"

With her wide blue eyes, oval face, high forehead and sculpted features, Robin was a beautiful child and the image of her father. Kerry had reassured her with a heartiness she hoped was truthful. Now, to distract herself, Kerry looked around the waiting room. It was tastefully furnished with several couches and chairs covered in a small floral print design. The lights were soft, the carpeting luxurious.

A woman who appeared to be in her early forties, wearing a bandage across her nose, was among those waiting to be called inside. Another, who looked somewhat anxious, was confiding to her attractive companion: "Now that I'm here, I'm glad you made me come. You look fabulous."

She does, Kerry thought as she self-consciously reached into her bag for her compact. Snapping it open, she examined herself in the mirror, deciding that today she looked every minute of her thirty-six years. She was aware that many people found her attractive, but still she remained self-conscious about her looks. She brushed the powder puff over the bridge of her nose, trying to cover the spray of detested freckles, studied her eyes and decided that whenever she was tired, as she was today, their hazel color changed from green to muddy brown. She tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear, then with a sigh closed the compact and smoothed back the half bang that needed trimming.

Anxiously she fastened her gaze on the door that led to the examining rooms. Why was it taking so long to remove Robin's stitches? she wondered. Could there be complications?

A moment later the door opened. Kerry looked up expectantly. Instead of Robin, however, there emerged a young woman who seemed to be in her mid-twenties, a cloud of dark hair framing the petulant beauty of her face.

I wonder if she always looked like that, Kerry mused, as she studied the high cheekbones, straight nose, exquisitely shaped pouty lips, luminous eyes, arched brows.

Perhaps sensing her gaze, the young woman looked quizzically at Kerry as she passed her.

Kerry's throat tightened. I know you, she thought. But from where? She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. That face — I've seen her before.

Once the woman had left, Kerry went over to the receptionist and explained that she thought she might know the lady who just came out of the doctor's office. Who was she?

The name Barbara Tompkins, however, meant nothing to her. She must have been mistaken. Still, when she sat down again, an overwhelming sense of déjà vu filled her mind. The effect was so chilling, she actually shivered.

Copyright © 1995 by Mary Higgins Clark

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(11)

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(6)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Let me call you Sweetheart

    One of the best and cleaniest books I've read. It is not a dark read. Just a great read all the way around...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2003

    Outstanding Suspense!

    This book was a well-written mystery novel that lives up to Clark's usual standards. The characters and the plot are outstanding. Kerry and Robin Mcgrath are both very likable characters and extremely believeable. Surprisingly, this book was interesting from the very first visit to Dr.Charles, Robin's plastic surgeon. Finally, I believe you should read this book because it had one of the most amazing plot twists I have ever had the privilege to read. This book is a "Must Read!!!!!!"

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2002

    Not her best, but good enough!

    This book was recommended to me by a friend, who is also a Mary Higgins Clark fan. I prefer A Cry In The Night and Remember Me to this title, but this one still kept me on my toes. The book is about a woman who takes her daughter in to see a plastic surgeon to fix her face after a car accident. While in the waiting room, the mother experiences deja vu when a woman walked out of the office looking like a murder victim from years past. Being a lawyer, she started to investigate further and ended up getting involved head on with reopening a murder case. Good solid mystery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Very suspenseful book. I love this book and I think that everybo

    Very suspenseful book. I love this book and I think that everybody should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Amazing!

    One of the best Mary Higgins Clark books. I desperately wish that there was a sequal!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Really good

    I love this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Fun Mary Higgins Clark Romp

    I love MHC, but her characters are predictable and the plots are expected. She does a good job of providing sheer enjoyable escapism. This book is much the same. I continue to read her works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    An amazing author

    I have recently read Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark. I can honestly say that I have never been so interested in reading a book until this one. During the whole book she had me thinking one thing and then questioning myself and finally surprises me at the very end. I love to problem solve so when the whole book is surrounded by one problem and she has you thinking that everyone is the suspect. But in actuality the very least person is the one who is the suspect. I am not much of a reader but I believe that this novel is very interesting and has me on the edge of my seat. She used great detail to describe all of her scenes. Every person she mentioned I could see the way the looked in my head and how each scene played out. Although each chapter was very short and she bounced back from story to story I never once got lost where I had to go back and read to refresh my memory. I have recently decided to read another one of her books which is called All Around The Town. I have noticed that both books have begun with a great catch at the very beginning which makes it all the better. By far Let Me Call You Sweetheart is the best book I have read and I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to put their brains to work and suspense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    GOOD, SOLID MYSTERY

    GOOD STORY BUT LACKED SUSPENSE AND A FEW TOO MANY CHARACTERS. FINALLY GUESSED THE CULPRIT BEFORE THE END, BUT I STILL WOULD RECOMMEND IT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2005

    wow

    this book really threw me off I totally didn`t think that he was the killer (wink, wink) Kerry was awesome and Robin, her daughter, was my favorite character. Geoff was really cool and you could so tell he liked Kerry.Dr. Smith was mean until closer to the end then he was a sweetheart. Suzanne was a brat and she didn`t deserve what she got from everyone. Jimmy weeks was just mean. Grace and jonathon where purty cool but I felt sorry for Grace because of her disabillaty

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    Let Me Call You Sweetheart

    The book Let Me Call You Sweetheart is wonderful because it makes you think and put all the little pieces together. If you are a girl that likes twisted mysteries, you would really like this book and should read it. It has suspense but also romance tied in with the murder. Kerry McGrath, a prosecuting lawyer and soon to be judge waits for her daughter Robin to get out of the plastic surgeon¿s office. She worries that her daughters beautiful face will never be the same after the horrible car accident she was in the night her father Bob Kinellen took her to the Big Apple Circus. While Kerry waits in the other room, she sees a woman that looks like someone she knows, but she cannot figure who the woman is. After serious thought Kerry realizes that it looks like a women named Suzanne Reardon that was murdered ten years earlier. When Dr. Smith called Kerry into the office with Robin, she was relieved when he told Kerry that the scars on her face would soon go away after proper treatment. Kerry¿s good friends are Jonathan and Grace Hoover. She loves them like they are her second parents and has ever since she worked for them when she was younger. Robin and she are always at their house to visit and come over for dinner. When Jonathan finds out that Kerry is re-opening the sweetheart murder case he gets extremely upset and tells her not to do it because it will mess up her chance as being elected a judge. Kerry meets up with Geoff Dorso, one of the people that worked on the sweetheart murder case so she can find out more information about the murder. When Kerry gets together with him they find out that Jason Arnott and Jimmy Weeks might have something to do with the murder of Suzanne Reardon. One day when they go visit the jail that Skip Reardon is in, Kerry puts her foot down and says that Skip is innocent. Jonathan and Grace tell Kerry not to look in the case any further, especially after Jonathan delays Kerry¿s name for the place as judge. While Kerry reads through all the files and newspaper articles, she finds out that Dr. Smith is Suzanne¿s father. Kerry thinks that is the reason she has seen two women in his office that look identical to his lost daughter. Kerry also finds that Suzanne was involved with Jimmy Weeks and that she was always with Jason Arnott her close friend and the person that helped her decorate her house with antiques. Let Me Call You Sweetheart tells you every little detail of each character. Its as you know every character even if they do not play a big part. For instance, it tells how they live and what they like. The book makes you never want to stop reading no matter what. In every chapter you think someone else killed Suzanne until the end, and you are stunned when you find out who really did it. You wish the story would never end so you know how their lives were in the end and how the situation really affected everyone. I think everyone should read this book because it is an easy read even though it is told piece by piece and you have to put it together like a puzzle. It would be a wonderful book to read when you are stuck in your house for a rainy day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2003

    One sitting!

    I love all of Mary Higgins Clark's books. She is an amazing writer. What I love about this book is the killer is totally someone you least expect! Definitely worth reading but make sure you have the whole afternoon because you'll want to read it all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2002

    You should read this book!!!!!

    This book will capture you,and have you reading every chance you can get. Let Me Call You Sweetheart is a great book with an amazing twist. I recommend this book to anyone how enjoys suspence novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2001

    OUTSTANDING!!!

    This book was phenomenal. I couldn't put it down for 6 straight hours!!! The deatils were perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    ENJOYABLE AND SUSPENCEFUL BOOK

    MHC is one of my favorite authors and she did'nt fail to please me with this story.The plot was good and the whole women-with-the-same-face thing was kind of creepy too,so that made it even better.Although,I have to admit I was a bit dissapointed with the end.Still,I enjoyed it,and recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2001

    Great Mystery!

    Very good Plot, Kinda of boring but the climax pulls you back to the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2000

    Not her best

    I usually really like Mary Higgins Clark books but I found this one to drag. The story didn't really grip my interest and I didnt become involved with the characters. There were too many people introduced who had no meaning to the story and it was hard to keep them all straight. Good but not great...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    The Best Book Ever

    This is by far and away the best book by Mary Higgins Clark that I have ever read. It captures every aspect of mystery, suspense, and suprise. It is hard to put this book down because you can really get into. With every bit of information and new secrets that are revealed in every chapter you are that much more engulfed by the story. You come to feel what the emotions that the characters are going through as you read them. Then you are blown away by the captivating and unexpected ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    Good for older people.

    I read this book last year. It took me a while too. It wasn't that good because I didn't understand it. I guess I was too young.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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