The definition of an owl had always pleased him: a night bird of prey…sharp talons and soft plumage which permits noiseless flight…applied figuratively to a person of nocturnal habits. 'I am The Owl', he would whisper to himself after he had selected his prey, 'and nighttime is my time.'"
Jean Sheridan, a college dean and prominent historian, sets out to her hometown to attend the twenty-year reunion of Stonecroft Academy alumni, where she is to be honored along with six other members of her class. There is something uneasy in the air: one woman in the group about to be feted, Alison Kendall, a beautiful, high-powered Hollywood agent, drowned in her pool during an early-morning swim. Alison is the fifth woman in the class whose life has come to a sudden, mysterious end.
Adding to Jean's sense of unease is a taunting, anonymous fax she received, referring to her daughter – a child she had given up for adoption twenty years ago.
At the award dinner, Jean is introduced to Sam Deegan, a detective obsessed by the unsolved murder of a young woman who may hold the key to the identity of the Stonecroft killer. Jean does not suspect that among the distinguished people she is greeting is The Owl, a murderer nearing the countdown on his mission of vengeance against the Stonecroft women who had mocked and humiliated him, with Jean as his final victim.
From The Washington Post
As pointed out in Book World's May 2 Summer Forecast, readers hardly need to be reminded that Mary Higgins Clark's latest spring offering is here. Nighttime Is My Time brings to 29 the number of novels to bear her name, novels that have routinely graced bestseller lists and earned her numerous awards and the title Queen of Suspense. It is equally significant that Clark, an icon in the mystery field, has been generous with her time and attention to numerous younger writers, as evidenced by an award she and her publisher have sponsored since 2001 to recognize new talented authors, including Barbara D'Amato, Judith Kelman, Rose Conners and M.K. Preston, who follow the vein of suspense Clark has so expertly mined.
In a recent interview, Clark attributed her popularity to readers' ability to "walk in the shoes of the character." In the guidelines for eligibility to win the award that bears her name, Clark spells out the makings of a good suspense novel: "A very nice young woman, 27-38 or so, whose life is suddenly invaded. She is not looking for trouble – she is doing exactly what she should be doing. She solves her problem by her own courage and intelligence. She's in an interesting job. She's self-made – independent – has primarily good family relationships. No on-scene violence. No four-letter words or explicit sex scenes."
Nighttime Is My Time hews to this formula by creating an admirable protagonist, Jean Sheridan, a historian and author of a well-received book on Abigail Adams, then adds other elements to which virtually every reader can relate. Jean is returning to her hometown to be honored at the 20-year reunion of her class at Stonecroft Academy, a private school in upstate New York. But one of the six other honorees won't be attending the festivities. Hollywood agent Alison Kendall has been murdered in the book's opening pages by a man who had the resources to travel repeatedly to Los Angeles to stalk her before he drowned her in her own swimming pool.
Alison's death strikes Jean hard. The two had been friends and part of a group of girls known for lunching together, their good looks and their cruelty to boys in the school. Typical high school behavior perhaps, but, like the boys of Columbine, Alison's killer has nursed a grudge over how the girls taunted him, most specifically for taking advantage of his stage fright when he played an owl in a school play. This murderer's vengeance, planned and implemented over two decades, calls for killing each lunch-table girl, and other unrelated women, and leaving no "signature" to alert law enforcement, save the little pewter owls he places undetected near their bodies, a "silent reminder of his visit, a calling card that everybody always missed." And although he readily admits to himself that Jean was the only girl who was kind to him, in fact had enough family problems of her own to have been ridiculed herself, our serial killer (who calls himself, unsurprisingly, The Owl) has decided she too must die.
A reunion saddened by the tragic loss of a friend, a loss readers know is murder; the resourceful, successful heroine who has risen to the heights of her profession but must struggle to save herself and her daughter from the killer; the disappearance of actress Laura Wilcox, another honoree, before the reunion is over; a stalking serial killer who sits among the unsuspecting as a classmate and friend – Clark enlists these and other trademark devices to ratchet up the empathy and suspense.
While her fans may be delighted as the red herrings and misdirections pile up in chapters so short that their white space consumes a hefty percentage of the novel's pages, for this reader so much exposure to the killer's habits, thoughts and actions undermines the novel's plausibility. While he may call himself The Owl and wear a frightening feathered headdress, it's unlikely that the kidnapped Laura wouldn't allow herself to say his name, even to herself, regardless of his admonitions not to speak it aloud. Implausible, too, is Sam Deegan, an about-to-retire veteran investigator in the D.A.'s office, whose inability to link past and present crimes is troubling. So is his tendency to share information with suspects and people unassociated with the case, including a nosy reporter for the high school paper whose sole purpose seems to be to move the plot along when the action gets sluggish.
Clark 's successful contributions to the genre clearly indicate that she knows, and has done, better work. And while diehard fans may not object as Nighttime Is My Time wends it way to its inexorable conclusion, others who wish for more sizzle in their suspense or more spine-tingling entertainments may want to wait for Clark's next novel or try D'Amato, Kelman or the others whom she has so graciously encouraged.
A Christmas suspense story. When a young mother from Kansas travels to New York to be with her seriously ill husband at Christmas, her young son sees another woman steal his mother's wallet, and follows the thief into the subway. Thus begins a journey that will change all of their lives.
A minor road accident landed county prosecutor Katie DeMaio in Westlake Hospital. That night, from her window, she thought she saw a man load a woman's body into the trunk of a car…or was it just a sleeping pill-induced nightmare? At work the next day, Katie began investigating a suicide that looked more like murder. Initial evidence pointed elsewhere, but medical examiner Richard Carroll saw a trail leading to Dr. Edgar Highley. He suspected that the famous doctor's work "curing" infertile women was more than controversial-that it was deceitful, depraived, and often deadly. But before Richard could tell Katie his fears, she left the office for the weekend and an appointment for routine surgery…in Dr. Highley's operating room.
Dr Gary Lasch is found dead at his desk. The murder stuns his elite Connecticut community – especially when his beautiful young wife, Molly, is arrested and charged with his murder. Six years later, on Molly's release from prison, she reasserts her innocence in front of reporters gathered at the prison gates. Among them is an old schoolfriend, Fran Simmons, who is currently working as an investigative reporter for a true crime television series. Determined to prove her innocence, Molly convinces Fran to research and produce a programme on Gary 's death. Fran agrees, but in doing so, she has a second agenda – to learn the truth about her own father's suicide fourteen years earlier. Fran soon finds herself enmeshed in a tangled web of intrigue and menace – more deaths and more unanswered questions about Gary Lasch's death. As her investigation proceeds, there are those who know they must make a choice: face ruin, or eliminate Fran.
Elizabeth Lange is haunted by the loss of her sister, Leila, who died mysteriously. Invited to Cypress Point Spa by a friend, she finds herself confronted by a cast of characters who all had motives for the killing. And she quickly discovers her own life may also be under threat.
It has been ten years since 21-year-old Kevin MacKenzie, Jr. ("Mac"), has been missing. A Columbia University senior, about to graduate and already enrolled in Duke University Law School, he walked out of his room in Manhattan 's Upper West Side without a word to his college roommate and has never been seen again. However, he does make three ritual phone calls to his mother every year: on her birthday, on his birthday, and on Mother's Day. Each time, he assures her he is fine, refuses to answer her frantic questions, then hangs up. Even the death of his father, a corporate lawyer, on 9/11 does not bring him home, or break the pattern of his calls.
Mac's sister Carolyn is now 26, a law school graduate, and has just been hired as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. She has endured two family tragedies-her brother's inexplicable disappearance, and the loss of her father. Realizing that neither she nor her mother will ever be able to have closure and get on with their lives until they find her brother, she sets out to discover what happened to Mac, and why he has found it necessary to hide from them.
Her journey into the world of people who willingly disappear from their own lives leads her to learn about others who may or may not still be alive, and ultimately to a deadly confrontation with someone close to her who suddenly becomes an enemy-and cannot allow her to disclose his secret…
Nancy Harmon had fled the heartbreak of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her two little children, the hostile front-page newspaper stories and the shocking charges against her. She changed her name, dyed her red hair sable brown, and left California for the wind-swept peace of Cape Cod. Now she was married again, had two more beautiful children, and the terrible pain had begun to heal…until the morning when she looked in the back yard for her little boy and girl, found only one red mitten, and knew that the nightmare was beginning again…
Join the breakneck chase through Chicago for a murderous maniac. As the victims begin piling up, detective Keren Collins’s spiritual discernment is on high alert. Will she capture the killer before another body floats to the surface? Ex-cop, now mission pastor Paul Morris has seen his share of tragedy, but nothing prepared him to be a murderer’s messenger boy. Will his old ruthless cop personality take over, leading him to the brink of self-destruction? Can Keren and Paul catch the killer before the corpse count reaches a perfect ten?
Mary Yukari Waters' novel "The Favorites" brings to mind the Japanese notion of ma, which refers to negative space – the gap between objects, the silence between events. In the book's maze of family secrets, what is left unsaid often weighs more heavily than what is spoken. During a summer visit to her family in Kyoto, 14-year-old Sarah…
Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder.
She tells police that she is a member of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil; her division is called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons—"Bad Monkeys" for short.
This confession earns Jane a trip to the jail's psychiatric wing, where a doctor attempts to determine whether she is lying, crazy—or playing a different game altogether. What follows is one of the most clever and gripping novels you'll ever read.
Matthew Pearl reopens one of literary history's greatest mysteries in his most enthralling novel yet, a tale filled with the dazzling twists and turns, the unerring period details, and the meticulous research that thrilled readers of bestsellers The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow.
Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens's untimely death reaches the office of his struggling American publisher, Fields Osgood, partner James Osgood sends his trusted clerk Daniel Sand to await Dickens's unfinished novel-The Mystery of Edwin Drood. But when Daniel's body is discovered by the docks and the manuscript is nowhere to be found, Osgood must embark on a transatlantic quest to unearth the novel that will save his venerable business and reveal Daniel's killer.
Danger and intrigue abound on the journey, for which Osgood has chosen Rebecca Sand, Daniel's older sister, to help clear her brother's name and achieve their singular mission. As they attempt to uncover Dickens's final mystery, Osgood and Rebecca find themselves racing the clock through a dangerous web of literary lions and drug dealers, sadistic thugs and blue bloods, and competing members of the inner circle. They soon realize that understanding Dickens's lost ending to Edwin Drood is a matter of life and death, and the hidden key to stopping a murderous mastermind.
When Johnny Richardson comes home to the town of Oakridge, California, he has one thing on his mind – putting right a terrible mistake he made eight years ago. Revisiting the past, though, is a dark and dangerous game in small-town America. A searing meditation on the futility of trying to right the wrongs of the past, Empty Mile blends elements of thrilling urban noir with the wide-open spaces of outdoor adventure.
Nalini Singh writes 'paranormal romance at its best' (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY).
Ashaya Aleine was separated from her son, forced to create a neural implant that will forever enslave her psychically gifted Psy race. After fighting a desperate battle to save her child and escape the PsyNet, she's lead not to safety, but into the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.
Nalini Singh pulls away another dark layer of sheer desire, revealing passions unknown in her latest novel about the world of the Psy.
A woman returns from a leopard changeling's past, making him question his base animal instincts-and unlock the darkest secrets of his heart.
THE HOT NEW NAME IN PARANORMAL ROMANCE.
Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart.
Born a Psy, Sascha Duncan must hide the emotions which mark her as flawed. But a passionate Changeling will tempt her to reveal everything-and risk her very soul.
Written with the wisdom and grace devoted readers have come to expect from the award-winning author of The Virgin of Small Plains, here is a brilliantly moving tale of family, murder, and redemptive love.
Rose, Kansas, is a quiet town poised between the orderly and the unpredictable, where a terrible secret lies long dormant…until it vengefully stirs to life one fateful day. Young English teacher Jody Linder wakes up one morning to find her three intimidating rancher uncles on her doorstep. They bring shocking news: Billy Crosby, the man convicted of murdering her father-and presumably her mother's killer as well-is being released from prison and coming back to Rose with his son, Collin, an attorney. Convinced of his father's innocence, Collin provokes Jody to face the stunnig mystery behind her tragic past. Enthralling, surprising, and beautifully textured, The Scent of Rain and Lightning blurs the boundaries between suspense and literary fiction.
Earthquake aftershocks trap Mayor Patrick O'Shea and his assistant Briana Bliss in an elevator. But emergency services are stretched to the limit with 911 calls. The mayor and Briana wait. And passions flare…
Briana Bliss planned to use her job as Mayor Patrick O'Shea's assistant to get back at him for allegedly destroying her uncle's political chances. But she's unprepared for the way Patrick makes her feel. And in the close confines of the stalled elevator, Patrick and Briana give in to the attraction that's been sizzling between them for months. Now how will Briana ever prove to Patrick that she acted out of love…and not revenge?