The number one New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-five suspense novels; four collections of short stories; a historical novel, a memoir, two children's books, and most recently partnered with Alafair Burke to collaborate on a new series: The Under Suspicion novels. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, Clark has co-authored five more suspense novels. Her books are international bestsellers with more than one hundred million copies in print in the United States alone.
Clark's favored theme of endangered kids (Where Are the Children?, etc.) meshes here with a parable of faith; but, despite swift pacing, the predictability of the story line undercuts the suspense. Catherine Dornan is in Manhattan with her two sons because her husband, Tom, an Omaha pediatrician, is hospitalized there for leukemia and has just had his spleen removed. When a troubled stranger, Cally Hunter, makes off with Catherine's wallet, seven-year-old Brian Dornan doggedly pursues her because the wallet contains a St. Christopher medal that saved the life of his grandfather in WWII, by deflecting a bullet. Brian believes that the medal will save his dad's life, too, as his grandmother has predicted, and he is determined to get it back. Enter Jimmy Siddons, Cally's brother, a cop killer escaped from Riker's Island prison, who abducts Brian, holding him hostage at gunpoint as he heads for Canada in a stolen car. In the finale, as Catherine prays during Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the cops and Siddons, Brian at his side, engage in a high-speed chase, in which the St. Christopher medal becomes vital to the boy's safety. Clark blatantly, if cleverly, pulls all the sentimental strings here, but most readers will find this a heartwarming, affirmative tale of the power of faith. 750,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; simultaneous S&S audiotape. (Oct.)
"The tense-but-tender tale of the most harrowing Christmas Eve any mother could imagine ... with an ending that's nothing short of miraculous. We promise there won't be a dry eye in the house!" -- Literary Guild "Genuinely thrilling and suspenseful." -- Detroit News
YA‘It is Christmas Eve in New York City when Brian, a determined seven year old, follows the thief who took his mother's wallet, hoping to retrieve the St. Christopher's medal that he believes will save his father, who has leukemia, just as it saved his grandfather in World War II. However, the child is kidnapped by a vicious escaped convict who needs a hostage. The central characters come to life rapidly as the fast-moving story quickly builds suspense. Teens will appreciate the realistic, paradoxical description of the relationship between Brian and his older brother: caring, concerned, and name-calling at the same time. Although readers know that the ending will be a happy one, they won't expect the coincidences and the touching holiday details.‘Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA