Mary Higgins Clark’s newest fits her traditional pattern: readers know the hero and heroine, don’t ever doubt they’ll somehow find their way to each other, despite the odds the author throws in their pathway. Readers know exactly what they’re getting when they pick up one of her books, which is exactly Clark’s reason for continued popularity.

Still, it’s not the way her books will turn out that keep readers in droves flocking back; it’s the obstacles and plot she comes up with, the familiar and realistic New York setting, and the look at the way some people get to live their lives. Clark pointed this out in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, where she felt her detractors claims of ‘formulaic’ fiction don’t understand her audience the way she does. Why change a pattern that has been shown readers adore? she noted. Why indeed? I’ll Walk Alone is her 37th novel to hit the best selling lists, not counting the 5 she’s written with her daughter Carol.

This time identity theft plays a part in the life of interior decorator Zan Moreland. Still reeling from the kidnapping of her son, Matthew, two years before, Zan is a gifted designer on the brink of a huge career break when she discovers someone is using her credit cards and manipulating her bank accounts to destroy her reputation.

Clark ratchets up the heat when she adds kidnapping and murder to the perpetrator’s brutal crimes. Then on what would be Matthew’s fifth birthday, photo’s emerge of what seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child. Plot twists tell Zan someone has literally stolen her identity, down to ordering the clothing she wears.

The press is baying, her ex-husband is attacking her, and the police think she’s a schizophrenic kidnapper–Zan certainly has lot on her plate, in true Clark style. I’ll let you spot the hero for yourselves. For brain candy that you know will have the heroine triumphing, no one is better than Mary Higgins Clark.

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