Mary Higgins Clark
The Melody Lingers On
I started reading Mary Higgins Clark with her first published suspense novel, Where Are The Children. She hooked me on the first chapter. I went on to read a dozen or more of her novels over the years.
At some point, I stopped reading her stories but not because the writing lagged. She has always maintained a high quality in her writing style and level of tension. She understands what her readers want in the way of a mystery, and she consistently delivers. My tastes may have changed or I needed to experience new writers as a means of learning the craft of writing. I believe it is Stephen King who advocates that if you don’t read, you can’t write.
Over the years, having already devoured all of Robert Ludlum’s books, and impatiently awaiting the next gunslinger novel from Stephen King (oh, the endless wait!), I “discovered” John Sandford, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritson, Kathy Reich, James Lee Burke . . . the list is also never ending.
But all roads lead back to the Queen of Mystery, Mary Higgins Clark.
As I read the opening chapter of The Melody Lingers On, I felt the draw of Clark’s first novels, such as The Cradle Will Fall and Weep No More, My Lady. She builds suspense slowly, allowing the reader to absorb each newly introduced character before asking them to draw an opinion or conclusion. Villains and heroes are treated evenly, making it difficult to determine which is which. My indecision always keeps me reading to learn more.
If you have ever been on the wrong end of some sadistic person’s scheme to derive pleasure from cheating others, you will relate, as I did, to this suspense-filled novel. With such a personal investment in the story, the hook is set, and you will find that reading this novel from cover to cover is inevitable.
Next up for review is:
Moloka‘i by Alan Brennert