Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Efficient little thriller
The first Mary Higgins Clark book I ever read (earlier this year) was The Shadow of Your Smile. Although I thought that that particular book was heavy with too many characters and plot developments, there was enough that I liked that I tried another of the author's titles, this one. I enjoyed Just Take My Heart more than the previous book, mainly because it had a nice streamlined courtroom plot, with just the right amount of side developments and extra details to enhance the main story, not bog it down.
There was one kind of funny addition, though. A serial killer in hiding lives right next door to the main heroine (the assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case that gets most of the book's attention). The serial killer really doesn't have much to do with anything else going on in the book, which is why I said it's funny. It's like he's just a minor, quirky supporting character in there to give the book a little color. He does eventually intersect with the main plot, which does ratchet up the drama and thriller aspects of the book, but honestly, his role at the very end could have been handled by another character. I'm just not sure his brief though undeniably important role justified his peeking through his curtains and watering his flowers during the bulk of the bulk. Still, his presence wasn't a deal breaker.
I also liked the author's sleight of hand. I was patting myself on the back for discovering some buried clues about who was behind the effort to create a patsy for the central murder being prosecuted. No dice, though: I was smart enough to find the clues, but darned if they weren't false clues. I'll say no more, only that this turned out to be- despite some Lifetime movie and romance novel moments- a satisfying whodunit.
Now, which M.H. Clark book to sample next...?