Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

I used to read quite a few suspense books, but have shied away from that genre lately.
I tired of the violent descriptions and the evil, psychopathic villains that filled the pages.  The series writers were often blurring the lines between the lives of the "bad guys" and the protagonists --
that Silence of the Lambs effect, and that began to bother me.  So I continued to read legal thrillers and regular mysteries, but I've shied away from the more popular authors of intense suspense fiction.

Monday when I went to our local library, I decided to scan the shelves.  Lately, I've been reading advanced readers' copies sent to me, get books through interlibrary loan, or downloading books to my Nook, so I haven't been checking our own library shelves enough.  What caught my eye right away was a cover with a single bright red stiletto shoe on a field of snow.  When I realized that it was a new title by Mary Higgins Clark, I decided immediately that it was time for suspense and an intense block of reading time.

When I read an author such as M. H. Clark, I know that I will have to finish the book in just a few hours.  No reading a couple chapters a day over a period of days.  I know that from experience, but what did I do?  I started the book at about ten o'clock Monday night, reading only 40 pages or so before I went to bed.  Well, obviously that was enough to re-ignite my brain because I tossed and turned for 90 minutes or more before finally getting up and reading until my eyes were too dry and tired to go any further.  Yesterday I carved out enough time to speed read my way through the rest of the book.  While I would not rank this as my favorite Mary Higgins Clark book, I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out who was behind the murders of several young women (one a cold case from over twenty years earlier) and a mysterious factory fire which left a former employee dead and the owner's daughter in a coma. My main hunch was right, but there were enough red herrings and twists to keep some of the story a complete surprise until the end. With short chapters devoted to different characters, the story is advanced in tiny steps at a brisk pace, with even enough time for some little light romance.  There was one murder (and a murderer) that I felt was unnecessary;  its connection to the main story was contrived. It just seemed that there were too many dead bodies showing up!  Can't say any more without revealing some spoiler information. Even with that inclusion, Daddy's Gone A Hunting was a successful page turner.

If you're a suspense fan and somehow you missed last spring's release of Mary Higgins Clark's
Daddy's Gone A Hunting, look for it at your library or bookstore.

The Lost Years, by Mary Higgins Clark

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