Saturday 14 November 2015

Mary Higgins Clark

Whenever I take a break from professional work, I seek out for books to read, especially crime thrillers as I find them entertaining and immensely relaxing. Mary Higgins Clark is one such author I chose to read during a break and found her books interesting, engaging and fast-paced. By now I have read several of her titles, and could appreciate the good amount of research that had gone into her works. They are not the typical ‘whodunit’ type of fictions. On the contrary, in some of the books the author doesn’t bother to hide the identity of the criminal, nonetheless develops the plot and narrative so totally engaging and racy. Even in those stories where the identity of the villain is kept hidden and you could guess it early in the narrative, you continue to remain fully involved with the story. Invariably the protagonists are strong professional women who are sensible, yet vulnerable in their own way. Characters are well etched, while the human emotions and problems are seamlessly woven into the story line.

The author does have a few continuing catheters; of these, Alvirah and Willy Meehan are most endearing! Let me give you my view on some of the titles I have enjoyed.

The narrative of  ‘A stranger is watching’ gives the feel of cold melancholy, nonetheless the tension keeps building as you read chapter after chapter till a satisfactory conclusion is reached.

A cry in the night’ on the other hand brings out the mental turmoil the protagonist undergoes, as she was caught in the dangerous web created by the psychotic painter husband.

The protagonist tries to prove the guilt of the man who murdered her sister in ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’. In the process, she puts her life at risk. How she exposes the killer makes the rest of the plot. Impact of the sister’s death on her family and eventual reconciliation are skillfully woven into the narrative. 

No place like home’ brings out how the protagonist’s past catches with her present life, and how she manages to unearth the truth behind the tragic events of the past. In this story the author depicts how greed forms a great motivation for crime.

In ‘Shadow of your smile’, the author develops the story line around a family secret pertaining to a nun, and her descendant, who is unaware of being an heiress to a vast fortune. Body count rises, as vested interests try to keep control of the money. This racy thriller is a must-read.

While getting treated in a hospital, an attorney witnesses a body being shifted in a car. Under the influence of a sedative, she dismisses it as a nightmare. ‘Cradle will fall’ further explores the circumstances that expose the wrongdoings at the hospital, which claim more victims as the plot thickens. Read this spell-binding crime thriller to find out more.

I will walk alone’ explores the protagonist’s pain of losing her only child to kidnappers and bewilderment of her identity being stolen. How she overcomes the odds and unites with her child form the plot of this nail-biting suspense novel.

I really enjoyed ‘While my pretty one sleeps’, which traces the connection between two murders that have happened decades apart. The author explores the suspense in this spine-chilling thriller involving several characters, who may have the motive to commit murder.

Dashing through the snow’ and ‘The Christmas thief’ featuring Alvirah and Willy Meehan make wonderful light reading as against the more serious titles by the author.

I strongly recommend Mary Higgins Clark to those of you who enjoy crime thrillers. Happy reading!

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