“ Author: Mary Higgins Clarke / Genre: Crime / Thriller „
I have just recently started reading Mary Higgins Clarks novels and I have really enjoyed her stories. The first book I read was Before I Say Goodbye and I have to admit is one of my favourites.
Before I Say Goodbye centres around the character of Nell MacDermott. The story surrounds her architect husband and three of his business associates who have been killed in an explosion aboard his boat, she is completely devastated but also feels guilty. The previous night they had a bitter argument regarding her decision to run for a congressional seat which had previously been held by her grandfather. At the end of the argument she had told him not to come home, only deepening her grief and guilt.
As soon as the investigation into the boats explosion begins, it soon emerges that the explosion was in fact not an accident but that a bomb had been planted. All the while Nell's great aunt Gert who is a great believer in psychic ability encourages Nell to visit a medium who states that she can channel Adam. At first sceptical even though she has felt at times some form of connection with her deceased parents, Nell begins to want answers regarding her husbands death. She finally concedes and agrees to see the medium but in doing this opens herself to a scary situation.
Along the way she begins to wonder if her husband was involved in some dodgy deals within the construction industry and decides she needs to know one way or the other if her husband was the man she thought she had married.
The book finishes when she meets with the medium one last time to fully give her all the answers she needs. This also brings her into a very dangerous situation one in which once she finds out the truth she will not be allowed to live.
This book is full of suspense and you become genuinely attached to the characters involved, I couldn't put this book down. From then on I had to read more of Mary Higgins Clark and have not been disappointed with any of her other books.
One thing to note is in Mary Higgins Clarks books she tends to have very short chapters which can annoy some people but I don't mind so much. As I find sometimes it can be a bit of a pain if you want to break off from a book and a chapter is around 10 pages long.
I'm an avid crime reader. In fact it's pretty much the only kind of book I read. It's not even deliberate, it just keeps happening. But then there are so many subtypes within crime writing that one isn't really sticking to the same thing.
I started enjoying MHC's books some eight years ago, and I have by now read most of them. Other reviewers of her work have often commented that she seems to follow a certain pattern. I have to agree. It can be summarized that the always female lead character is either a witness to something or even marginally involved in something but without being guilty of anything. Someone else pursues her to either silence her or gain otherwise.
In a few others the lead character's job or hobby leads her into the path of a dangerous criminal.
The books are not predictable on an individual basis though. There are those who claim otherwise, but the closest thing to "I knew all along who did it " is that you consider the real criminal along with other possible suspect. Besides, one doesn't necessarily want to know in advance, suspense is the whole point. MHC is known for dropping clues, even incriminating many characters for the sake of suspense. The main source of enjoyment in her books is the suspense created by everyone's skeletons.
Nell McDermot is grieving for her husband after his death in a boat explosion. So far she hasn't had answers or closure, but she is contacted by a medium who claims to be in touch with her dead husband. It comes to light that the explosion was no accident. Shortly afterwards Nell seems to be receiving instructions from Adam. The danger she is in is growing and there is the possibility that she just might see Adam after all.
On the whole I enjoyed this book as much as others by MHC. The story was suspenseful and satisfactory, the characters interesting and sympathetic. I won't add more details for the sake of those who may want to read it. The stories are fast paced and easy to read, even in one sitting if you have the time. At the same time she uses language well and never slips into being trivial.
Mary Higgins Clark was born in December 1927 and first tried her hand at writing at the age of seven. She first attempted to publish at 16 but was rejected. As a young woman she worked as a stewardess with Pan Am. In the 1960 she wrote radio scripts and short stories. Shortly after she published her first full length book. So far she has written 24 suspense novels, a fictional biography about George Washington, her autobiography and a ghost story. She has also written a number of books with her daughter Carol, who is also an author in her own right. MHC is referred to as the Queen of Suspense and has won several awards.
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.