Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: The Lost Years By Mary Higgins Clark

Genre:   Mystery Suspense
Release Date:  April 2012
Series:  None
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages:  304
Source:  Purchased
Rating:  Three Flowers Of Love

Book Blurb
Dr. Jonathan Lyons, a seventy-year-old biblical scholar, believes he has found the rarest of parchments—a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ. Stolen from the Vatican library in the fifteenth century, it was assumed to be lost forever.

Under the promise of secrecy, Jonathan attempts to confirm his findings with several other biblical experts. But on the eve before his own murder, he confides to Father Aiden O’Brien, a family friend, that one of those whom he trusted most is determined to keep it from being returned to the Vatican.

The next evening Jonathan Lyons is found shot to death in his New Jersey home. His daughter, twenty-seven year old Mariah, finds her father’s body sprawled over his desk in his study, a fatal bullet wound in the back of his neck, and her mother, Kathleen, an Alzheimer’s victim, hiding in the study closet, incoherent and clutching the murder weapon. The police suspect that Kathleen, who in her lucid moments knows that Jonathan was involved with a much younger woman Lily Stewart, has committed the murder. 

But Mariah believes that the key to her father’s death is tied to another question: Where is the missing parchment? Whom, among his close circle of friends, might he have consulted? And did one of them kill to keep possession of the letter?

What Mariah doesn’t know is that there was an eyewitness to the murder, someone whose unwise attempt to blackmail the killer begins a new circle of death, with Mariah as the ultimate target of one person’s obsession with a priceless historical treasure. 

My Thoughts
This is the first book that I have read by Mary Higgins Clark and while I have heard that she is a talented author, this book didn’t wow me like I wanted it to.

I did enjoy the book and the mystery had me guessing and paying close attention to what was happening with all the characters but it reminded of the old Murder She Wrote TV show.  LOL!  I just kept shaking my head to the fact that an old lady was getting more dirt than the lawyer and police.

The plot was interesting.   I never once thought that the wife did it.  I could understand why everyone thought that she did and I’m sure the author wanted the readers to think so too, but it just didn’t fit for me.  If she had and some diabolical plot was revealed, the story would have been a winner for me.  But as the story progressed, I realized that wouldn’t be the outcome.  There were just too many obvious players in the game to create any suspense for me.  It didn’t take me long to know where to point the finger.  When the killer was reveled, it wasn’t a big shock, more like an “oh, ok” feeling.

The host of characters was kind of boring.  To me neither had personality enough for me to label anyone a favorite.  Not one made me want to know more about them or look forward to future scenes.  At times I found myself flipping back pages to remember who was who and their significance to the story.  The only thing that really interested me about their conversations was the background they gave about the letter because I’m a big fan of biblical conspiracy theories.

Overall, I did like the story and probably will read more of Ms Higgins books.  I’ve been told that her earlier works are real page turners.   

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