I remember reading this book as a young teenager and loving it, so when I was moving some boxes the other day and came upon a ratty copy of the paperback, what else could I do but grab a cup of tea and sink back between it’s pages. Sadly, it’s a bit dated (circa 1975), and as I’ve read a mystery or ten since then the twists are quite as stunning but as an introduction to Mary Higgins Clark and the school of American romantic suspense thrillers that it spawned, it’s still a fun read.
The novel introduces us to Nancy Harmon who was convicted of the shocking and macabre deaths of her young children. She has been sentenced to death in the gas chamber of a California prison when due to a technicality she has to be re-tried. When the key witness in the case can’t be found, Nancy is released. Looking for a fresh start, Nancy changes her name, dyes her hair and leaves California for Cape Cod. Time passes, and Nancy has found happiness with a new husband and two beloved children. The terrible nightmare of her past has begun to heal when one morning she looks in the backyard for five-year-old Michael and her lovely three-year-old daughter Missy, only to find them gone and a single red mitten left in their place.
The book is very short, making it a great single night read. As the weather gets frosty outside, it’s time for a few indoor chills as well. Lori