I'll Walk Alone

I'll Walk Alone

by Mary Higgins Clark

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439180976
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 03/20/2012
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 157,319
Product dimensions: 4.28(w) x 6.62(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

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

Read an Excerpt

I’ll Walk Alone




  • Father Aiden O’Brien was hearing confessions in the lower church of St. Francis of Assisi on West Thirty-first Street in Manhattan. The seventy-eight-year-old Franciscan friar approved of the alternate way of administering the sacrament, that of having the penitent sit in the Reconciliation Room with him, rather than kneeling on the hard wood of the confessional with a screen hiding his or her identity.

    The one time he felt the new way did not work was when, sitting face-to-face, he sensed that the penitents might not be able to allow themselves to say what might have been confided in darkness.

    This was happening now on this chilly, windswept afternoon in March.

    In the first hour he had sat in the room, only two women had shown up, regular parishioners, both in their mideighties, whose sins, if any had ever existed, were long behind them. Today one of them had confessed that when she was eight years old she remembered telling a lie to her mother. She had eaten two cupcakes and blamed her brother for the missing one.

    As Fr. Aiden was praying his rosary until he was scheduled to leave the room, the door opened and a slender woman who looked to be in her early thirties came in. Her expression tentative, she moved slowly toward the chair facing him and hesitantly sat down on it. Her auburn hair was loose on her shoulders. Her fur-collared suit was clearly expensive, as were her high-heeled leather boots. Her only jewelry was silver earrings.

    His expression serene, Fr. Aiden waited. Then when the young woman did not speak, he asked encouragingly, “How can I help you?”

    “I don’t know how to begin.” The woman’s voice was low and pleasant, with no hint of a geographical accent.

    “There’s nothing you can tell me that I haven’t already heard,” Fr. Aiden said mildly.

    “I . . .” The woman paused, then the words came rushing out. “I know about a murder that someone is planning to commit and I can’t stop it.”

    Her expression horrified, she clasped her hand over her mouth and abruptly stood up. “I should never have come here,” she whispered. Then, her voice trembling with emotion, she said, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I confess that I am an accessory to a crime that is ongoing and to a murder that is going to happen very soon. You’ll probably read about it in the headlines. I don’t want to be part of it, but it’s too late to stop.”

    She turned and in five steps had her hand on the door.

    “Wait,” Fr. Aiden called, trying to struggle to his feet. “Talk to me. I can help you.”

    But she was gone.

    Was the woman psychotic? Fr. Aiden wondered. Could she possibly have meant what she said? And if so, what could he do about it?

    If she was telling the truth, I can do nothing about it, he thought, as he sank back into the chair. I don’t know who she is or where she lives. I can only pray that she is irrational and that this scenario is some kind of fantasy. But if she is not irrational, she is shrewd enough to know that I am bound by the seal of the confessional. At some point she may have been a practicing Catholic. The words she used, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” was the way a penitent used to begin to confess.

    For long minutes he sat alone. When the woman exited, the green light over the Reconciliation Room door had automatically gone on, which meant that anyone waiting outside would have been free to enter. He found himself praying fervently that the young woman might return, but she did not.

    He was supposed to leave the room at six o’clock. But it was twenty minutes after six when he gave up hope that she might come back. Finally, aware of the weight of his years and the spiritual burden of his role as confessor, Fr. Aiden placed both hands on the arms of his chair and got up slowly, wincing at the sharp thrust of pain in his arthritic knees. Shaking his head, he began to walk to the door but stopped for a moment in front of the chair where the young woman had been sitting.

    She wasn’t crazy, he thought sadly. I can only pray that if she really has knowledge that the crime of a murder is about to be committed, she does what her conscience is telling her to do. She must prevent it.

    He opened the door and saw two people lighting candles in front of the statue of St. Jude in the atrium of the church. A man was kneeling on the prie-dieu in front of the Shrine of St. Anthony, his face buried in his hands. Fr. Aiden hesitated, wondering if he should ask the visitor if he wanted to go to confession. Then he reflected that the posted hours for hearing confessions had been over for nearly half an hour. Maybe this visitor was begging for a favor or giving thanks for receiving one. The Shrine of St. Anthony was a favorite stop for many of their visitors.

    Fr. Aiden walked across the atrium to the door that led to the passage to the Friary. He did not feel the intense gaze of the man who was no longer deep in prayer but had turned, pushed up his dark glasses, and was studying him intently, taking note of his rim of white hair and slow gait.

    She was only in there less than a minute, the observer thought. How much did she tell that old priest? he wondered. Can I afford to take the chance that she didn’t spill her guts to him? The man could hear the outer doors of the church being opened and the sound of approaching steps. Quickly he replaced his sunglasses and pulled up the collar of his trench coat. He had already copied Fr. Aiden’s name from the door.

    “What do I do about you, Fr. O’Brien?” he asked himself angrily, as he brushed past the dozen or so visitors entering the church.

    For the moment he had no answer.

    What he did not realize was that he, the observer, was being observed. Sixty-six-year-old Alvirah Meehan, the cleaning woman turned columnist and celebrity author who had won forty million dollars in the New York Lottery, was also there. She had been shopping in Herald Square and then, before going home to Central Park South, had walked down the few blocks to the church to light a candle in front of St. Anthony’s Shrine and drop off an extra donation for the breadline because she had just received an unexpected royalty check for her memoir From Pots to Plots.

    When she saw the man seemingly deep in prayer in front of the shrine, she had paid a visit to the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. A few minutes later, when she saw Fr. Aiden, her old friend, leave the Reconciliation Room, she had been about to run up and say a quick hello to him. Then to her astonishment, the man who had seemed so engrossed in prayer suddenly jumped up, his dark glasses raised. No mistake about it, he was watching Fr. Aiden make his way to the door of the Friary.

    Alvirah dismissed any passing thought that that guy might have wanted to ask Fr. Aiden to hear his confession. He wanted to get a good look at Father, she thought, as she watched the man pull his glasses back over his eyes and turn up the collar of his coat. She had taken off her glasses so he was too far away for her to see him clearly, but from the distance she judged him to be about six feet tall. His face was in the shadows but she could see he was on the thin side. Her impression, when she had passed him at the statue, was that he had no gray in his full head of black hair. He had been covering his face with his hands.

    Who knows what makes people tick, Alvirah asked herself as she watched the stranger, now moving quickly, exit by the door nearest him. But I’ll tell you this much, she thought. As soon as Fr. Aiden left the Reconciliation Room, whatever that guy had to say to St. Anthony, he wound it up fast.

  • Customer Reviews

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    I'll Walk Alone 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 808 reviews.
    ANONWZAWMN More than 1 year ago
    I'LL WALK ALONE Mary Higgins Clark REVIEWED: BARBARA LIPKIEN GERSHENBAUM (SEE ALL MY REVIEWS) One of the most horrendous fears parents harbor is the disappearance of their child. In Mary Higgins Clark's thirtieth mystery novel, I'LL WALK ALONE, she uses this crime to tell the story of Alexandra "Zan" Moorehead, a single mother and a successful interior designer. When he was three years old, her son, Matthew was taken while his babysitter slept on a blanket next to his stroller. No sign of the child ever appeared until his fifth birthday when photos surface of "Zan" removing the child from the carriage herself. Immediately the public turns against her. Even her ex-husband now believes she took the boy. Zan has another problem. Her identity is stolen and someone clearly is out to not only bankrupt her but to see that her life is ruined forever and perhaps that she even dies. With only her assistant in her corner she vows to go ahead with the prospect of a gigantic project that would propel her into the spotlight. Since she opened her own design firm her former boss turned against her with rabid hatred and she believes he is behind the kidnapping. She begged the police and anyone who would listen to begin a full investigation into Longe's life, but she got nowhere. Except with a couple of friends named Alvira and Willy who happened to be lottery winners, which put them in a position of wealth and influence. Fr. Aiden a close friend of this couple reluctantly began to see Zan as an innocent woman when he re-examined the pictures that were carpeting the city and Kevin Wilson the architect who Zan wanted so much to impress. But everyone was powerless to do anything to prove one way or another if Zan was guilty of kidnapping and possibly killing her son. Was that Zan in the photo? Did she have a psychotic break? She claims to remember almost nothing from the time Matthew was taken. As the narrative races along and in true Clark fashion the tension grows and readers are I introduced to some new characters. Never one to hold back in a page-turner the author moves part of the story to an isolated farmhouse in the country. A nosy neighbor is very curious about the woman who rented the place for three months but paid for a year in advance. Rebecca Schwartz, the real estate agent's best friend makes a "new neighbor" visit to deliver blueberry muffins then when she's rebuffed she decides to stake out the place. I'LL WALK ALONE is one of Mary Higgins Clark's most suspenseful books.
    bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
    I still remember the first book I read by Mary Higgins Clark. It was REMEMBER ME and I was in the seventh grade. I have been a die-hard fan ever since. What I like most about her writing is the fact that she can keep me guessing. I had no idea who had really been behind Matthew's kidnapping and it through me for a loop. I thoroughly enjoyed I'LL WALK ALONE. Mary Higgins Clark fans everywhere should pick up a copy.
    harstan More than 1 year ago
    When Matthew was three years old, he was abducted while his babysitter who was ill fell into a deep sleep. His mother up and coming interior designer Alexandra "Zan" Moreland was devastated and spent all her energy and her money on private investigators and psychics. She believes her former employer and business rival arranged the kidnapping. Zan threw herself into her work so she wouldn't think about all the bad things that could have happened to son. As Matthew's fifth birthday nears, Zan's life spins out of control. Someone has hacked into her accounts, used her cards to charge big cost items and seems to be taking over her identity. Pictures surface that show Zan taking Matthew from his carriage; her friends think she killed her son. She knows she is innocent, but people are slow to believe her that someone impersonated her. Apparently the kidnapper wants her dead preferably by her owns hands. Mary Higgins Clark is the queen of suspense as her thrillers remain fresh. Her latest tale contains realistically portrayed characters especially Zan as a beleaguered heroine who feels unbearable pressure, but refuses to break as she still has fading hopes that Matthew will one day return to her. Fans will feel for her while wondering who the villain is including considering she might be Harry Kellerman. Harriet Klausner
    Zavi More than 1 year ago
    This was my first Mary Higgins Clark book I have read. It is a great suspense and kept me attention from beginning to end. I will be reading more of her books.
    EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
    The plot against the protagonist is truly scary. With great calculation and evil intend a person is planning the downfall of the key/main character. There are plenty of suspects to choose from, yet as you read, this wonderful work of fiction, you are sure to deduce the culprit. This novel's storyline offers great twists and turns, emotionally gripping situations, and is filled with mystery and suspense to keep you turning the pages to get to the end of this wild crime. As the saying goes, this is a real page-turner, and you'll want to unravel this great mystery. If you have not read the other novels by Mary Higgins Clark you should check them out they are enjoyable reading. This novel, "I'll Walk Alone," is so interesting you should be able to read it over one weekend.
    Scarlett60 More than 1 year ago
    I have been a Mary Higgins Clark reader for years and lately some of the novels were following the same pattern. What a joy to find "I Walk Alone" to be so different and refreshing. Usually, by the middle of the book, I know "who done it." This novel took me completely by surprise. Please, more like this one.
    SWEV More than 1 year ago
    I have been looking to get back into reading when I picked up this book in CVS. The book was amazing. The minute I read the first page, I could not put it down. I would never imagine that ending. I was totally fooled. It was funny too because I read reviews after I bought this book, and before I started to read it, and now I do not know what people were talking about when they said it was bad, or that they knew from the beginning who the peron that kidnapped the child. I am starting to believe that people write reviews just to write them without reading a book. This book was overall great! I enjoyed every piece of it! Def recommend it!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have listened to many of Mary's books on tape. I'll Walk alone was my first Mary Higgins Clark book and is still my favorite . My grandmother got me started on hers and I really enjoy them even though I am only 14. I have listened / read many of hers. Here r a few........ Santa Cruise /movie and book Silent Night Deck the Halls /movie and book While my pretty one sleeps I've got you under my skin All around the town /movie Christmas thief All through the night Where are the children / partial No place like home/ partial You belong to me/movie Loves music loves to dance/movie Daddys gone a hunting Just take my heart Two little girls in blue/partial Daddys little girl He sees u when ur sleeping/movie The cradle will fall/ movie
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    As usual Mary Higgins Clark always keeps you in suspense. Just when you think you have it all figured out another twist.
    LJHotch More than 1 year ago
    This+book+grabs+you+from+the+first+page+and+doesnt+let+go.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was a very suspenseful book that was very enjoyable to read. I would look for someone looking for that next great book. What a wonderful author.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I highly recomand this book it was a real.page turner I couldnt put it down. I also love the fact that in her books all her chapters are short. So you keep saying let me read one more and before you know it youcant stop.
    creighley on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    Not up to Clark's potental. There were just too many times in the novel where people had obvious clues to the mystery, but just "couldn't quite place it." Zan Moreland's son has been missing for two years. Now, new evidence has pointed to her as the person who actually kidnapped him. WAY too much was uncovered by her friends instead of the police. Disappointing...... Don't waste your time.
    caroren on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    An OK read from Clark - In I ll Walk Alone, Alexandra ¿Zan¿ Moreland, a gifted, beautiful interior designer on the threshold of a successful Manhattan career, is terrified to discover that somebody is not only using her credit cards and manipulating her financial accounts to bankrupt her and destroy her reputation, but may also be impersonating her in a scheme that may involve the much more brutal crimes of kidnapping and murder. Zan is already haunted by the disappearance of her own son, Matthew, kidnapped in broad daylight two years ago in Central Park¿a tragedy that has left her torn between hope and despair. Now, on what would be Matthew¿s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child, followed by a chain of events that suggests somebody¿but who? Zan asks herself desperately, and why?¿has stolen her identity. Hounded by the press, under investigation by the police, attacked by both her angry ex-husband and a vindictive business rival, Zan, wracked by fear and pain and sustained only by her belief, which nobody else shares, that Matthew is still alive, sets out to discover who is behind this cruel hoax. What she does not realize is that with every step she takes toward the truth, she is putting herself¿ and those she loves most¿in mortal danger from the person who has ingeniously plotted out her destruction. Even Zan¿s supporters, who include Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner and amateur detective, and Father Aiden O¿Brien, who thinks that Zan may have confessed to him a secret he cannot reveal, believe she may have kidnapped little Matthew. Zan herself begins to doubt her own sanity, until, in the kind of fast-paced explosive ending that is Mary Higgins Clark¿s trademark, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an unexpected and shocking revelation.
    Quiltinfun06 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    This is very simple. Mary Higgins Clark does it again with a quick, mystery read. Nothing heavy, nothing to drag you down, just a pure fun mystery read.
    Booklovingmommy on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    So, I used to really enjoy Mary Higgins Clark's books (her early work) and would be excited when a new one came out. After the last few I have read, I'm thinking I won't bother reading her books anymore.I'm not sure what happened here....if I just grew up or if MHC's writing has changed but I do not like the general "voice" of the book. I hate how the characters let you know things that happened in the past by thinking about it. Also, the tone just comes across as childish to me. Alexandra (Zan) has had an extremely rough life lately. First, her parents are killed on the way to the airport in Rome, Italy. They were on their way to pick Zan up for a visit as she wasn't able to visit them for over 2 years because of her very needy boss. Then, she calls the guy she is seeing and he comes to help her. She ends up marrying him, divorcing him, finding out she's pregnant and when her son turns two, he is kidnapped out of his stroller in Central Park while the babysitter sleeps. Then, to top it off, her credit cards have been stolen and someone is charging up a huge bill. Zan is gorgeous and thin. In fact, if I had to read how gorgeous and thin she was one more time in the book, I was going to throw it out the window. I swear, everytime Zan was mentioned, it was also mentioned that she was gorgeous and thin. Ted, Zan's ex-husband is livid with her for losing Matthew (their son) and is always blaming her. He's a PR man and so we have to deal with his relationship with an immature singer. He is really very annoying.Alvirah and Willy, the lottery winners from previous books, are also in this book. That was the only saving grace for me as I love Alvirah. Zan also lands a job decorating a new apartment complex and meets Kevin Wilson. There really is no romance here at all but Kevin, even though he has never met Zan, instantly believes in her and trusts her. When she is arrested he continues to stand by her. I find this hard to believe that someone would actually do this but I guess it could, maybe, happen.There are other characters that are, in my opinion, just useless. They are used to fill the pages but have to real part in the story. The story was extremely predictable (I knew who did it at the beginning despite MHC's attempts to throw you off the trail). It was an easy read and would have been a fast read if it held my attention for any length of time but this book was very easy for me to put down and get distracted by stuff like cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry. Yeah, that's how much I didn't like it!If you like MHC, go ahead and try this book. I may just be burnt out on her. I didn't care for it but it doesn't mean someone else won't love it!
    TomWheaton on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    A typical MHC book. A mystery to be solved with the authorgiving clues so that the reader can try to guess "whodunit". It turns out to be a page-turner at the end with the bad guy revealed in the last few pages.
    WeeziesBooks on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    I used to read Mary Higgins Clark mysteries a long time ago but haven¿t read much lately. This book is a very light beach read and is not as good as her earlier works. I enjoyed it but did not love it. This is a story of Alexander Moreland, known as ¿Zan¿, a young interior designer whose is son is missing, the victim of kidnapping. She believes he is still alive even though two years have passed. Zan herself is accused of the kidnapping when footage of his abduction is uncovered even though she has bankrupted herself trying to find Matthew. The trail leads through relationships turned sour, friendships and love. You do feel empathy for her as you would for any parent that loses a child, but the story is to formulaic to allow you to escape into the characters and their world. I would give it a 2.5 or 3.
    skinglist on LibraryThing 10 months ago
    Second MHC book in a weekend as I decided to catch up. I liked Zan Moreland and felt her pain. I like MHC's writing of the priest, he was real and it was nice to see the return of the Meehans. I liked the twists and I dind't expect the ending. Like typical MHC, this was one-day brain candy but a good read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    ?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    An easy read enjoyable book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Good but too many people.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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