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Second Time Around
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About the Author

Mary Higgins Clark is the author of twenty-two worldwide bestselling works of fiction and a memoir. She lives in Saddle River, New Jersey, with her husband.

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Clark's latest entry does not disappoint those expecting a likable heroine, mystery, and danger, served with a touch of romance. Marcia (Carley) DeCarlo, a financial writer in New York, has been assigned to collaborate on a cover story for Wall Street Weekly. The subject is her step-brother-in-law, Nicholas Spencer, the charismatic head of Gen-Stone, who has disappeared. Though Carley only met Nicholas once, she instinctively liked and trusted him. Her stepsister, Lynn, is another story, as Carley distrusts her and her motives. From being medicine's golden boy when he promised a cure for cancer, Nicholas is now universally hated. Clark adds financial barracudas circling the wreck of Gen-Stone and one mentally deranged serial killer to the mix with enthralling results. Jan Maxwell reads clearly, keeping the tale moving at a brisk pace and displaying the emotion of each moment. She differentiates well between narration and dialog; however, all the men tend to sound alike. Carley is an appealing personality, and the mystery of Nicholas is one that grabs the listener. Highly recommended.-Nancy Reed, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-A feature writer for a newspaper, Carley DeCarlo has been assigned to do an article on the life and death of Nicholas Spencer, an eminent researcher who was on the verge of developing a pharmaceutical cure for cancer. Since millions of specially donated dollars are missing from his firm, his airplane accident may have been a faked suicide, or murder. Occasional chapters feature a disturbed man as he retaliates for the death of his wife, which he blames on Spencer's firm. Carley's portion of the story is written in first person so readers follow her doubts and triumphs as clues are revealed. She is a true sleuth; she often gets a clue that confuses her, but she keeps on investigating. Tension builds gradually as readers see both the heroine and the schizophrenic at work. But is he the only villain? Short chapters help to keep the suspenseful plot moving along.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

There's something special about Clark's thrillers, and it's not just the gentleness with which the bestselling writer approaches her often lurid subject matter (in this one, for instance, there are numerous killings, but all occur off-page). Special above all is the compassion she extends to her characters-heroines, villains and supporting cast alike. In this latest effort, she conjures empathy even toward a mass killer, whose murderous spree has been sparked by a corporate crime. The smoothly told tale is narrated partly from the third-person perspective of the killer, and partly from the first-person point of view of Wall Street Weekly correspondent Carley De Carlo. Carley is the stepsister of Lynn Spencer, whose charismatic husband, Nicholas, dies in the crash of his small plane as he is fleeing arrest for looting the medical company he founded, which had made claims of a cancer cure, now proved false. Myriad investors have lost much, sometimes everything; one is Ned Cooper, whose beloved wife died as a consequence of Nicholas Spencer's thievery, and who determines to take revenge, setting off on a killing spree. Assigned to do a feature about the Spencer case, Carley digs deep, uncovering clues to a conspiracy within Spencer's medical company, as well as to the possibility that the cancer cure worked after all. Can she get to the bottom of the mess before Ned Cooper, or the possible conspirators, take her out? Clark's fans know the answer to that question, but what the novel lacks in suspense it makes up for in grace, charm and solid storytelling. 750,000 first printing; BOMC, Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (Apr. 15). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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