Mystery/Thriller Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal
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Before I Say Good-Bye by Mary Higgins ClarkSimon and Schuster, April 2000
Hardcover, 320 pages.
Nell McDermott has known her share of tragedy in her life. Her parents were killed when she was a child, and she was raised by her grandfather, longtime congressman Cornelia McDermott or "Mac". Nell has always had the gift of extrasensory perception, just like her great-aunt Gert, but her grandfather scoffed at the very idea of ESP and told Nell that she was just imagining things. Nell has always thought about following her beloved grandfather into politics, but her husband Adam, an architect, is vehemently opposed to the idea. When Adam's new cabin cruiser, The Cornelia II, is blown up in a terrible explosion which kills Adam and the business associates who were on the boat for a meeting, Nell is devastated. What's worse, the police think that the explosion was deliberately set -- and may have something to do with a possibly shady real estate project in which Adam was involved. Determined to clear her dead husband's name, Nell sets out to find the truth. Soon it becomes clear that Nell has stumbled into a deadly conspiracy, as a ruthless killer will stop at nothing to stop Nell from finding out the truth.
Mary Higgins Clark's 21st suspense novel takes readers into the world of New York real estate, where ruthless developers and speculators make their own rules without regard to the laws, and into the world of psychic communication. Nell McDermott, who has been skeptical of her own powers all of her life, is an appealing heroine who has experienced great tragedy in her life but who never quite gives up. The novel is full of suspense, action and subtle humor. Some of Nell's interactions with her grandfather Mac and with Aunt Gert are quite funny -- in fact, Mac just about steals every scene he is in. The plotting and pacing are expertly done, as always with Clark, but it is her wonderful way with characters and dialogue which make her books so compelling. Her latest novel is no exception. Highly recommended.
--Claire E. White
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