Mary Higgins Clark could very well be described as the American equivalent of Agatha Christie. While she hasn’t come up with instantly recognizable characters like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, Clark has certainly cranked out a vast number of best-selling mysteries. Some of them later adapted into TV movies and even a couple of films.
In The Second Time Around, Clark explores the mind of a mass killer with her usual grace and compassion. This time we are introduced to Carly DeCarlo, a financial advice columnist turned investigative reporter, and her quest for the truth about the suspicious disappearance of Nicholas Spencer, the head of medical research company “Gen-stone.” As the facts unravel in what seems to be a predictable con game, Carly slowly finds out that she has become the target of a dangerous group involved in a sinister scheme.
Although the story is based around some questionable medical assumptions, once you have gotten past those ‘glitches’, this book is sure to leave any reader thoroughly entertained. The pace is breath takingly fast, and it passes off as a light, but worthwhile read. Clark is a skilled writer and her books never fail to entertain. Intermingling a well-crafted first-person narrative with sporadic chapters of 3rd-person narrative, she offers readers a fine treat of mystery and suspense which will keep them on their toes throughout the book. In terms of content, there is a lot of juicy stuff about corporate sabotage and medical research which contribute a fair amount to the plot’s believability.
In between the clever twists and turns, there are enough clues to keep the reader guessing and follow hunches without giving too much of the plot away. It’s easy to see how her ability to create believable characters (both likable and not so) has made her books so successful. Each of the characters has been very well defined throughout, and a few are so well described, its easy to get the creeps whenever they re-emerge in the story.
If you’re looking for a nice change of pace after more challenging reads, then this one won’t disappoint. A lot of enjoyable plot twists, some thought involved, but overall, quick and painless to read.
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