Sunday, December 13, 2009

120. Silent Night / All Through the Night by Mary HIggins Clark

This book contains two short novels that Mary Higgins Clark wrote specifically for the holiday season. My problem is that her mysteries have always seemed formulaic so I haven't read her books for quite some time.  After listening to her autobiography, I thought I would give her mysteries another try. She is just very likeable.

Silent Night  Catherine is in New York City with her two sons, Brian and Michael, on Christmas Eve.  Her husband is in the hospital being treated for cancer.  She and the two boys decide to pass some time seeing the Christmas sights but she accidentally drops her wallet.  Brian, the younger son, sees the wallet fall and be picked up by another woman.  He knows it contains the St. Christopher medal which they are taking to Dad the next morning which he knows will guarantee Dad's recovery.  He follows the woman to try and retrieve the wallet and the medal.  Cally had picked up the wallet without thinking.  She is desperately poor and thinks the rich woman who dropped it will probably never miss it.  Unfortunately, her escaped convict brother is waiting when she arrives home, sees Brian, and decides to use him as a hostage.  The rest of the story deals with how Cally and Catherine deal with their circumstances and the police investigation.  It is really a story about the power of faith and prayer.  While it is sappy, it is still a good read for the Christmas season.

All Through the Night  This story features a couple Higgins has written about before, Willy and Alvirah.  A young woman gives birth in her hotel room and leaves the infant with a note at the front door of St Clement's church.  However, at the same time, a man is stealing money and a silver chalice from the church, sees the baby pram and uses it to help him make his getaway.  He is surprised to find the baby inside and takes her home to his great aunt.  Seven years later, the man is planning to take his "daughter" to Mexico; and the woman is searching for her child.  Willie and Alvirah see her visiting several times at the church and take her under their wing.  At the same time, a friend has been disinherited by her sister; and Alvirah is sure the will has been created under shady circumstances.  This story is even sappier than the first, but Willy and Alvirah are such fun characters that it makes the drippy ending more bearable. 

I doubt if these two tales will become standard holiday reading at my home, but they are short and filled with Christmas spirit; so I will probably read them again in the future.

Rating:  3.75

1 comment:

  1. I tend to read things I wouldn't normally read when it comes to Christmas. I can't seem to find very many that I want to read year after year, though.