Mary Higgins Clark – Two little girls in blue

Back in another life when I was still reading a lot of books, Mary Higgins Clark was one of my favourite authors. “I’ll be seeing you”, “Where are the children?” and “Remember me” are some of the ones I spend sleepless nights with.

However, once I’ve read a few of her books the concept of her books is so obvious that the story is predictable and plot twists anticipated. Same in this one and I knew after the first 50 pages who the bad guy was and why.

It was also quite silly by introducing twins that could talk to each other over a great distance and relay names and locations. I’m sure that there are studies and that there is probably some kind of proven connection between twins, but it’s just too unrealistic to me.

I won’t be taking much away from this book apart from this quote:

Waiting does not seem long once it has been accomplished.

Overall I couldn’t put the book down though and it is definitely worth reading, even if her first twenty books are miles better.

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8 Responses to Mary Higgins Clark – Two little girls in blue

  1. ellaella says:

    Hi, Cat. I hopped over to see your Twitter widget in action but had to say I agree with you about Clark, even though I haven’t read this one. I quit her years ago.

    But your comments remind me of my response to one of the few Maeve Binchy books I’ve read, a long one called something Feather about caterers. I hated myself for reading on because her writing is mediocre to bad and the plot had holes big enough to sail a ship through. But I couldn’t put it down for one simple reason: she’s a terrific storyteller.

    So many exquisite writers of literary fiction are not even fair-to-good as storytellers. They seem to have forgotten basics such as narrative drive and that a good story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Do you think so too?


  2. Cat says:

    Hi Ella, nice of you to stop by, as always. :)

    I haven’t read her books for years, I think the last one I read was during 2002 and was one that came out during that time and I remember being disappointed back then.

    Thinking about it her books have always been the same concept, the person doing it is always the one you either least expect it or the person closest to you, for example husband and there is always a buildup to some dramatic end which is hardly dramatic seeing you know all the ‘good’ people will survive!

    I have tried reading Maeve Binchy books ever since I can remember. My mum used to have them and they were often the only books in the house I hadn’t read when the library was shut yet I could never get into them.

    I do somewhat agree with you, at least all the big names have. John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell [even though she is still my favourite author], Mary Higgins-Clark, Kathy Reichs, Donna Leon, Elisabeth George, the list goes on.

    Some of them, such as Patricia Cornwell and Elisabeth George keep me hooked for the characters, but I have barely bothered with the others.


  3. ellaella says:

    It’s interesting you mentioned Elizabeth George. I found her stuff after reading nearly all the Martha Grimes Richard Jury books in a single winter. The characters did keep me going back for more, although I find their stuff so similar (and odd that 2 Americans do the British thing and pretty well) that now I can’t remember which characters belong to which author and series, even the annoying ones. I can’t even remember the name of George’s protagonist, so I guess I wasn’t paying much attention. :)

    The gossip over here is that the two women don’t like each other at all, and Grimes thinks George is totally copying her. Well, meow.


  4. Cat says:

    I was not aware she was American! Elisabeth George’s main characters are Inspector Lynley and Detective Barbara Havers. She’s working class, he’s a Lord and rich.

    Elisabeth George books are difficult to read I’ve found, but Martha Grimes are even worse. I remember reading one or two Martha Grimes books and it was difficult to follow the story.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if all that was just staged, after all, publicity sells, right?

    Have you ever read any of Donna Leon’s books? Her description of Venice is beautiful.


  5. ellaella says:

    Right, Barbara Havers! I like that character and Melrose Plant from Grimes, whose name I couldn’t remember till I dug out an article I do remember about Grimes. Petty woman:

    I hope it works without you having to register if you’re not.

    I haven’t read Donna Leon, although I love Venice. I’ve seen a few but never got one. Is there one in particular you recommend?


  6. Cat says:

    Yes, I could read it and I’m undecided if it’s just a generally unfavourably written article or if she really said it all in that context.

    “I have a reputation for being difficult,” Ms. Grimes said. But that is because she refuses suggestions from editors without questioning them, she said. “I just squawk and complain.”

    Generally if someone gets a reputation A LOT must have gone on before that..

    Ms. Grimes has a generally dim view of the business. Her 1993 Jury mystery, “The Horse You Came In On” (Knopf), was reported to stem from a grievance she had against another mystery writer, Elizabeth George, also an American who sets books in England. Ms. Grimes said she thought Ms. George was stealing her ideas. Ms. George’s agent called Ms. Grimes’s accusations “baseless, preposterous and undignified.”

    I don’t remember them being similar at all, but then again I’ve barely read any of Grimes’ novels.

    As for Donna Leon, I’d recommend starting with the first one, there is some continuity with his family and it’s also one of her better mysteries. Just bear in mind that you’ll never look at Venice the same way again as it goes a lot into the underworld and kidnappings and so on.


  7. ellaella says:

    I will look for Leon’s first then. Thanks.

    As for Grimes, oh yes a lot went on before that. I used to mingle with some mystery writers and booksellers and the Times piece was in no way a hatchet job, from what I heard prior to it. (Of course, if any writers are bitchier and more cliquish than mystery writers in general I have yet to meet them.)


  8. Cat says:

    Heh, that sounds quite intriguing, actually!

    I remember reading a lot of stuff about Patricia Cornwell, including affairs and a murder trial as well as her being quite bitchy, too!


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