Where Are the Children?

Where Are the Children?

4.3 169
by Mary Higgins Clark

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Where Are the Children? is the story of a woman whose past holds a terrible secret. Nancy Harmon had been found guilty in a California court of murdering her two young children, but she was released from prison on a legal technicality.See more details below


Where Are the Children? is the story of a woman whose past holds a terrible secret. Nancy Harmon had been found guilty in a California court of murdering her two young children, but she was released from prison on a legal technicality.

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From the Publisher
"Indescribably suspenseful...a special kind of terror."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.80(d)
790L (what's this?)

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From Chapter One Ray came down the stairs pulling the knot closed on his tie. Nancy was sitting at the table with a still-sleepy Missy on her lap. Michael was eating his breakfast in his poised, reflective way.

Ray tousled Mike's head and leaned over to kiss Missy. Nancy smiled up at him. She was so darn pretty. There were fine lines around those blue eyes, but you'd still never take her for 32. Ray was only a few years older himself, but always felt infinitely her senior. Maybe it was that awful vulnerability. He noticed the traces of red at the roots of her dark hair. A dozen times in the last year he'd wanted to ask her to let it grow out, but hadn't dared.

"Happy birthday, honey," he said quietly.

He watched as the color drained from her face.

Michael looked surprised. "Is it Mommy's birthday? You didn't tell me that."

Missy sat upright. "Mommy's birthday?" She sounded pleased.

"Yes," Ray told them. Nancy was staring down at the table. "And tonight we're going to celebrate. Tonight I'm going to bring home a big birthday cake and a present, and we'll have Aunt Dorothy come to dinner. Right, Mommy?"

"Ray... no." Nancy's voice was low and pleading.

"Yes. Remember, last year you promised that this year we'd..."

Celebrate was the wrong word. He couldn't say it. But for a long time he'd known that they would someday have to start changing the pattern of her birthdays. At first she'd withdrawn completely from him and gone around the house or walked the beach like a silent ghost in a world of her own.

But last year she'd finally begun to talk about them... the two other children. She'd said, "They'd be so big now... ten and eleven. I try to think how they would look now, but can't seem to even imagine.... Everything about that time is so blurred. Like a nightmare that I only dreamed."

"It's supposed to be like that," Ray told her. "Put it all behind you, honey. Don't even won- der what happened anymore."

The memory strengthened his decision. He bent over Nancy and patted her hair with a gesture that was at once protective and gentle.

Nancy looked up at him. The appeal on her face changed to uncertainty. "I don't think --"

Michael interrupted her. "How old are you, Mommy?" he asked practically.

Nancy smiled -- a real smile that miraculously eased the tension. "None of your business," she told him.

Ray took a quick gulp of her coffee. "Good girl," he said. "Tell you what, Mike. I'll pick you up after school this afternoon and we'll go get a present for Mommy. Now I'd better get out of here. Some guy is coming up to see the Hunt place. I want to get the file together."

"Isn't it rented?" Nancy asked.

"Yes. That Parrish fellow who's taken the apartment on and off has it again. But he knows we have the right to show it anytime. It's a great spot for a restaurant and wouldn't take much to convert. It'll make a nice commission if I sell it."

Nancy put Missy down and walked with him to the door. He kissed her lightly and felt her lips tremble under his. How much had he upset her by starting this birthday talk? Some instinct made him want to say, Let's not wait for tonight. I'll stay home and we'll take the kids and go to Boston for the day.

Instead he got into his car, waved, backed up and drove onto the narrow dirt lane that wound through an acre of woods until it terminated on the cross-Cape road that led to the center of Adams Port and his office.

Ray was right, Nancy thought as she walked slowly back to the table. There was a time to stop following the patterns of yesterday -- a time to stop remembering and look only to the future. She knew that a part of her was still frozen. She knew that the mind dropped a protective curtain over painful memories -- but it was more than that.

Copyright © 1975 by Mary Higgins Clark

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