Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark

The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by Simon & Schuster (first published April 7th 2015) 
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to five-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tri-state area. A born optimist, Lane finds the glimpse into these gilded worlds fascinating, and loves the reward of exceeding the expectations of their often-demanding owners. When she is called to assist in redecorating a modest townhouse in Bergen County, she knows the job is unusual. Then she learns the home belongs to the wife of a notorious and disgraced financier named Parker Bennett.

Parker Bennett has been missing for two years. He dropped out of sight just before it was discovered that the $5 billion dollars in the fund he had been managing had vanished. Bennett had gone out on his sailboat in the Caribbean. Was it suicide or had he staged his disappearance? The scandal around his name has not died down. His clients and the federal government all want to trace the money and find Bennett if he is still alive.

Lane is surprised to find herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and apparently sincere belief in her husband’s innocence. Gradually, Lane finds herself drawn to Mark, the Bennetts’ son, who is similarly determined to prove that his father is not guilty. Lane doesn’t know that the closer she gets to the Bennetts, the more she puts her life―and her daughter’s life―in jeopardy.
My Review:
I love the kind of mystery where I'm left guessing who did it the whole time and this wasn't that type. The reader knows who the villain is and even the characters know who it is. The story is comprised of a good suspense, in seeing how it will all play out and how the villain will be caught. Because of that, it was just okay for me. The author had some fabulous mystery/suspense books in the 80s and even some in the 90s, but the past few offerings have been a little slower paced, yet are still fun. 
Parker Bennett is charming and when he drew a lot of people into a financial scheme and then takes off with their money, a lot of people are left angry...and poor. As usual, there are a lot of characters who's lives are woven together. The gist of it is it's suspected that Parker staged his death so that he could disappear. His girlfriend, wife, and son are all watched to see if he has contact with them. The girlfriend has her apartment redecorated and the decorator and her assistant play into the story as well. I love the way the reader gets snippets into the lives of each player in the story, making them all seem guilty, but it wasn't as prevalent this time around. 
If you like an easy suspense with a dash of romance and a smattering of mystery, then this is a book for you.
Content: very mild romance; talk of murder, attacks, rape, fraud, etc without graphic/gory details; very mild language. Clean!
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About the Author:
Mary Higgins Clark 
Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, best known as Mary Higgins Clark, (b December 24, 1927 in the Bronx, New York) is an American author of suspense novels. Each of her twenty-four suspense novels has been a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remain in print as of 2007, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are The Children, in its seventy-fifth printing.

Clark began writing at an early age. After several years working as a secretary and copy editor, Clark spent a year as a stewardess for Pan-American Airlines before leaving her job to marry and start a family. She supplemented the family's income by writing short stories. After her husband died in 1959, Clark worked for many years writing four-minute radio scripts, until her agent convinced her to try writing novels. Her debut novel, a fictionalized account of the life of George Washington, did not sell well, and she decided to leverage her love of mystery/suspense novels. Her suspense novels became very popular, and as of 2007 her books have sold more than 80 million copies in the United States alone.

Her work dwells primarily on a central theme: the psychological trauma endured and overcome by her strong female characters. Clark, known as the "Queen of Suspense", was also the inspiration for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America. She is the mother of author Carol Higgins Clark and formerly the mother-in-law of author Mary Jane Clark.

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