Monday, June 21, 2010

The Shadow of Your Smile

Several (or many) years ago I really, really enjoyed reading books by Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark and Nicholas Sparks. Some of you are probably groaning that I actually wasted my time reading this type of book, while others won't understand why I no longer find these books very interesting any longer. Basically, these books are the type that seem to have a very formulaic plot and after reading one or two of them, they are a bit repetitive.

Yet, even though these aren't my favorites any longer, I still pick them up from time to time - much like revisiting an old friend. Mary Higgins Clark's latest book The Shadow of Your Smile was a quick read, written in what by now is a very familiar formula in the authors' work.

*Chapters are short

*Each chapter is written in a different view point

*Chapters end with a bit of suspense

*There is a bit of romance

*A murder occurs

*Characters are not well developed

*Everything is neatly and happily tied up by book's end

The outline of this story centers around pediatrician Monica Farrell who is actually the unknowing heir to the Gannon family fortune. Olivia Morrow is an elderly woman in failing health who knows that a deceased nun gave birth to Monica's father, then gave him up for adoption. Now this nun is being considered for beatification, and Olivia is trying to decide if she should tell Monica about her biological family's history. Someone is also trying to end Monica's life. Renee Carter, who is trying to extort money from Peter Gannon, the father of her child is found dead, and Peter is arrested for the murder. He and his brother Greg are both involved in illegal activities and are near bankruptcy. The plot keeps moving quickly and Clark has several different story lines being developed at one time.

For fans of Mary Higgins Clark, this newest installment will keep them happy for a little while. As usual, there are aspects of this type of writing I enjoy, but it is easy to see that the type of leisure reading Clark provides is vastly different from the books that stay with readers long after the last page is finished.


Susan said...

I'm a long time fan of Mary Higgins Clark - even though I realize her books are formulaic, predictable, and not all that well-written. Still, I like knowing that hers are clean, fast-paced, easy reads. I didn't even know she had a new one out. I'll have to give it a try!

Marce said...

MHC is my favourite author, she is consistent and I know she has a formula but I think it totally works.