Our local used bookstore chain (Booksale) is littered with Mary Higgins Clark books. Somehow, in the hours I spent in those stores (all branches), I never thought to pick up the works of the “Queen of Suspense”. My sister is a very different reader than me and our bookshelves rarely intersect. It was snobby of me but I tended to think of the books she reads as “easier” to read. Still having the vision problems due to the autoimmune disease that I have, I have taken to raiding her bookshelves for these “easy books” when I’m having trouble focusing on more serious stuff. Quick reads to the rescue when I am falling behind on my Cannonball reads.
Nell MacDermott. is an orphan (whose parents died in an airplane crash) brought up and groomed by her powerful congressman grandfather to be his successor. But tragedy finds her a second time when her self-made architect husband of three years, Adam Cauliff seemingly blows up and dies in an explosion on his boat, along with 3 other people he was working with on an important new development. Of course, things are not as they seem. Allegations and suspicions against her husband regarding corrupt building practices may not only destroy her chances of becoming a congressman, but also her loving memories of him. So Nell tries to figure it out. Who blew up the boat? Was her husband corrupt? Is he even dead?
The characterizations, expectedly, is not the focus. I would imagine that the Queen of Suspense is about plot, plot, plot. I don’t really get much of a sense of who Nell is, as a person really. But I did appreciate that in the first fourth of the book, it made me vacillate between thinking that Adam was the bad guy No, it’s the secretary. No, it’s the grandfather, No, it’s the business partner. But by the middle of the book, I basically knew how it was going to end. Even the supposed “twist”. It also did not really deliver on the supernatural elements other than Nell being slightly psychic and able to feel when her parents and grandmother died, and some premonitions. And a psychic medium. There is also, a luckluster love interest that I feel was tacked on just for the sake of having a love interest.l Why did that have to happen? I don’t think that’s really necessary in a mystery, especially one where our lead was just newly widowed. It made a not particularly realistic story even more unrealistic when the love interest (who Nell met randomly) is ALSO somehow connected to the case, albeit in a tangential manner.
So. It was, indeed a quick read. It did not merit paying close attention, really, I just speed read through it and don’t think I missed anything. Useful for getting myself out of a reading slump but pretty meh overall.