Monday, November 8, 2010
The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark
Title: The Shadow of Your Smile
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Adult Murder Mystery
Premise: "At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave. Olivia has in her possession letters from her deceased cousin Catherine, a nun, now being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church—the final step before sainthood. In her lifetime, Sister Catherine had founded seven hospitals for disabled children. Now the cure of a four-year-old boy dying of brain cancer is being attributed to her. After his case was pronounced medically hopeless, the boy’s desperate mother had organized a prayer crusade to Sister Catherine, leading to his miraculous recovery. The letters Olivia holds are the evidence that Catherine gave birth at age seventeen to a child, a son, and gave him up for adoption. Olivia knows the identity of the young man who fathered Catherine’s child: Alex Gannon, who went on to become a world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents. Now, two generations later, thirty-one-year-old pediatrician Dr. Monica Farrell, Catherine’s granddaughter, stands as the rightful heir to what remains of the family fortune. But in telling Monica who she really is, Olivia would have to betray Catherine’s wishes and reveal the story behind Monica’s ancestry. The Gannon fortune is being squandered by Alex’s nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with philanthropy. Now their carefully constructed image is cracking. Greg, a prominent financier, is under criminal investigation, and Peter, a Broadway producer, is a suspect in the murder of a young woman who has been extorting money from him. The only people aware of Olivia’s impending choice are those exploiting the Gannon inheritance. To silence Olivia and prevent Monica from learning the secret, some of them will stop at nothing—even murder." (Book Jacket)
Opinions: I love Mary Higgins Clark books. I have loved them since I was a young teenager delving into all kinds of mystery novels. Some of her books are more suspenseful than others and a few of them have honestly freaked me out. The Shadow of Your Smile is the latest in Ms. Clark's plethora of works. As is traditional in her stories Ms. Clark does a fantastic job weaving the story from multiple view points in such away that entices the reader to weave the story together as it unfolds. In recent years Ms. Clark's books have more and more turned toward letting us see the bad guy's view point from the very first chapter. So not only do you get the story from the hero/heroine's point of view, but you find out all of the bad guy's thoughts and reasoning along the way. Even though you know who about the bad guy from the start, Ms. Clark still tells the story in such a way that you are still surprised in some aspect by the end.
In this book my favorite characters are the supporting characters. Though I adore Monica (our heroine) and wish, in some ways, to be like her, I found myself drawn to Nan, Ryan, Sophia, and even Catherine who you never meet but learn about from everyone else. My absolute favorite character is Susan. I can't reveal much as it would give away parts of the story, but here is a woman of strong character, morals and kindness.
If you love to read murder mystery I think you will enjoy this book. It is a quick read that kept me enthralled through each and every page.