I am admittedly a huge Mary Higgins Clark fan so I read every book she creates. This latest book, however, is quite a departure from her other novels, because of the religious nature of the plot. It still maintains the Mary Higgins Clark flair that millions of readers have come to love, though.
The book focuses on a controversial parchment document believed to be a letter written by Jesus Christ. It was supposedly stolen from the Vatican Library in the 1500's and has only recently been discovered by Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons. He asks his colleagues to swear to secrecy concerning the document so that they can help him authenticate it, but he also confides in a family friend that he suspects that someone involved with the document wants to sell it and cash in on the priceless parchment.
Days later, Lyons is found shot to death in his study. His wife Kathleen, suffering from Alzheimer's, is found hiding in a closet. She is mumbling incoherently and is clutching what appears to be the murder weapon.
Kathleen knew that her husband was carrying on a long-term affair. Did she have the clarity of mind to allow a jealous rage to overcome her, leading to the murder? Or is something larger at work? And where is the document now?
Their daughter Mariah is left to help unravel the mystery and clear her mother of the charges. The book features a large cast of characters and therefore suspects, and readers may need to make a "scorecard" to keep track of them. Two characters will be familiar to frequent readers, however - Willy And Alvirah - retirees thanks to Alvirah's winning the lottery. They are cleverly woven into this plot and provide a sense of comfort.
In typical Clark style, just when you think you have figured out the mystery, you are no doubt proven wrong. The last pages, as always, deliver a rollercoaster ride of fast-paced adventure leading to an ending that many will not see coming.
The book may not be for everyone. But true fans (and there are legions) will love it, I'm sure. One can only marvel at Mary Higgins Clark's storytelling ability.
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