Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favorite authors for many, many years. But not each of her books was really enjoyable – at least not for me. There was a time when I read her thrillers literally spoken overnight and was flashed with her brilliance by using the spiritual abyss we humans can have. The very dark side of human nature hidden very carefully from the rest of the world – well, the Queen of Suspense knows how to play with that better than anyone else. This thriller is one, I was very eager to read. I read it some years back, so I can´t exactly remember why that was, but I remember that I was happy when I got it and that I couldn´t wait to dig deep into it.

I´ve Got You Under My Skin
by Mary Higgins Clark
Under Suspicion Series #1
Publisher Simon & Schuster on April 1, 2014
Genre Thriller
Pages 320
Format Hardcover

When Laurie Moran´s husband was brutally murdered, only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father´s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy´s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more: the killer´s threat to her son as he fled the scene: Tell your mother she´s next, then it´s your turn … Now Laurie is dealing with murder again, this time as the producer of a true-crime, cold-case television show. The series will launch with the twenty-year-old unsolved murder of Betsy Powell, a socialite, was found suffocated in her bed after a gala celebrating the graduation of her daughter and three friends. The sensational murder was news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting and with the cooperation of the surviving guests that night, Laurie is sure to have hit on her hands. But when the estranged friends begin filming, it becomes clear each is hiding secrets … small and large. And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too …
Laurie´s son Timmy is a little Toddler when he witnesses the cold murder of his father Greg. For him, it was the man with the blue eyes that changed his life forever. Many years have passed since that tragic moment and since then a playground was never only just a playground for him. To come to terms with her broken and shattered world, and the fear she has to face every day – because Greg´s murderer is still on free foot – Laurie starts to convince her boss to produce a show called Under Suspicion, to solve cold cases. And during her preparation for it, she starts to get the pieces together, that could probably solve her own cold case: the murder of her dead husband.

I´ve Got You Under My Skin is a well-written thriller, in which you actually read about two different cold cases. In a very decent tone, the author describes one that happened twenty years ago and one that happened about five years back. During the ongoing story, the reader gets to know known facts about the old case during scenes, dialogues, and thoughts Laurie is having. Written in the figural narrative situation, Mary Higgins Clark created a puzzle that seems at the beginning very confusing and none of the pieces seem to fit. But from page to page and scene to scene the reader becomes a more and more clearer picture. Subliminal fears and long-denied feelings lead to a cat-and-mouse play that brings all kinds of different feelings to the surface and shows at the end a solution that the attentive reader knew long before that. Yes, without a doubt, this thriller is without any surprises. But don´t get me wrong. The plot is perfectly arranged. The writing style is, as always, great. It is just the feeling that the story isn´t new and that you can guess what happens next. I don´t know the author that way. Well, now I do.

When it comes to her figures, Mary Higgins Clark doesn´t present any new things or surprises. Her main character is, as always (and which isn´t bad in general) a self-confident and well situated young woman in her thirties. A single mother after her husband was killed.

Laurie works as a TV-producer, has her ups and downs and fights now for a show, she wants to use to solve a long-forgotten cold case. She follows her instincts, raises her son with the help of her father, a former police officer, and is happy for every day she stays alive.

Alex Buckley is a very dashing attorney with a razor wit. He becomes the host of the new show, has a very fascinating way to ask questions and get answers people actually don´t want to give; and his style to corner people are charming. Despite that, he sees things and notices what others don´t or what isn´t visible at first sight. His interest in Laurie is more than she wants, but he is already in love with her.

No doubt, the plot is refined and placed and implemented perfectly. But despite that, I had at some point the feeling, that I´ve already read the story. Somehow the author has lost her kick. This thriller is not reaching the brilliance of her latest work.

Happy reading

Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark ©Gunther Glücklich

Mary Higgins Clark, born in 1928 in New York, lives and works in Saddle River, New Jersey. She sold her first story in 1956 for $100 to a magazine. After the sudden death of her husband in 1964, she wrote her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington. Her first suspense novel Where are the Children from 1975 meant a turning point in her life and career: He became a bestseller. She is #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-four suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel; two children´s books; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone. She is the most successful thriller author worldwide.


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