Seven years ago, Nancy Harmon fled the west coast and landed in a small Cape Cod town. She wanted to live a solitary life anonymously after having been convicted of killing her two children and later having that conviction overturned on a technicality. She’s now remarried with two children and it’s her birthday, which she doesn’t normally celebrate. Her son and daughter are outside playing when she discovers something that threatens to shatter her world. But, when Nancy goes to bring her children inside, there nowhere to be found.
I knew immediately that suspicion was going to be pointed directly at Nancy. What I loved about the story is that we’re given the answer to this mystery right away, even though we don’t know the why or whom. It’s what made it compelling as their are little clues given to people in the town that on their own don’t seem meaningful but to us? We know it’s relevant and are on the sidelines just praying that someone assembles them and figures this thing out.
My book club selected this as a tribute to the author, who died in January. I recall reading Mary Higgins Clark when I was a young teen and loved her stories but somehow missed this one. This was her debut fiction novel and it doesn’t feel like a first-time effort. I’m also glad I chose to listen to it, and though it was the first audio version (found an old used copy), the narrator delivered an excellent performance. She had my nerves on edge from the very beginning and her pacing was perfect. Lastly, while this was written in 1975, there’s not a thing about it that feels dated. This story is timeless.
- Release Date: November 27, 2006
- Narrator: Margot Dionne
- Audio Length: 6 hours, 30 minutes
- Publisher: Recorded Books
(sample features a different narrator, the fabulous January LaVoy)