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A Cry In The Night Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (Dec 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671886665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671886660
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #314,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Prologue

Jenny began looking for the cabin at dawn. All night she had lain motionless in the massive four-poster bed, unable to sleep, the stillness of the house oppressive and clutching.

Even after weeks of knowing it would not come, her ears were still tuned for the baby's hungry cry. Her breasts still filled, ready to welcome the tiny, eager lips.

Finally she switched on the lamp at the bedside table. The room brightened and the leaded crystal bowl on the dresser top caught and reflected the light. The small cakes of pine soap that filled the bowl cast an eerie green tint on the antique silver mirror and brushes.

She got out of bed and began to dress, choosing the long underwear and nylon Windbreaker that she wore under her ski suit. She had turned on the radio at four o'clock. The weather report was unchanged for the area of Granite Place, Minnesota; the temperature was twelve degrees Fahrenheit. The winds were blowing at an average of twenty-five miles per hour. The windchill factor was twenty-four below zero.

It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. If she froze to death in the search she would try to find the cabin. Somewhere in that forest of maples and oaks and evergreens and Norwegian pines and overgrown brush it was there. In those sleepless hours she had devised a plan. Erich could walk three paces to her one. His naturally long stride had always made him unconsciously walk too fast for her. They used to joke about it. "Hey, wait up for a city girl," she'd protest.

Once he had forgotten his key when he went to the cabin and immediately returned to the house for it. He'd been gone forty minutes. That meant that for him the cabin was usually about a twenty-minute walk from the edge of the woods.

He had never taken her there. "Please understand, Jenny," he'd begged. "Every artist needs a place to be totally alone."

She had never tried to find it before. The help on the farm was absolutely forbidden to go into the woods. Even Clyde, who'd been the farm manager for 30 years, claimed he didn't know where the cabin was.

The heavy, crusted snow would have erased any path, but the snow also made it possible for her to try the search on cross-country skis. She'd have to be careful not to get lost. With the dense underbrush and her own miserable sense of direction, she could easily go around in circles.

Jenny had thought about that, and decided to take a compass, a hammer, tacks and pieces of cloth. She could nail the cloth to trees to help her find her way back.

Her ski suit was downstairs in the closet off the kitchen. While water boiled for coffee, she zipped it on. The coffee helped to bring her mind into focus. During the night she had considered going to Sheriff Gunderson. But he would surely refuse help and would simply stare at her with that familiar look of speculative disdain.

She would carry a thermos of coffee with her. She didn't have a key to the cabin, but she could break a window with the hammer.

Even though Elsa had not been in for over two weeks, the huge old house still glistened and shone with visible proof of her rigid standards of cleanliness. Her habit as she left was to tear off the current day from the daily calendar over the wall phone. Jenny had joked about that to Erich. "She not only cleans what was never dirty, she eliminates every weekday evening."

Now Jenny tore off Friday, February 14, crumpled the page in her hand and stared at the blank sheet under the bold lettering, Saturday, February 15. She shivered. It was nearly 14 months since that day in the gallery when she'd met Erich. No that couldn't be. It was a lifetime ago. She rubbed her hand across her forehead.

Her chestnut-brown hair had darkened to near-black during the pregnancy. It felt drab and lifeless as she stuffed it under the woolen ski cap. The shell-edged mirror to the left of the kitchen door was an incongruous touch in the massive, oak-beamed kitchen. She stared into it now. Her eyes were heavily shadowed. Normally a shade somewhere between aqua and blue, they reflected back at her wide-pupiled and expressionless. Her cheeks were drawn. The weight loss since the birth had left her too thin. The pulse in her neck throbbed as she zipped the ski suit to the top. Twenty-seven years old. It seemed to her that she looked at least ten years older, and felt a century older. If only the numbness would go away. If only the house weren't so quiet, so fearfully, frighteningly quiet.

She looked at the cast-iron stove at the east wall of the kitchen. The cradle, filled with wood, was beside it again, its usefulness restored.

Deliberately she studied the cradle, made herself absorb the constant shock of its presence in the kitchen, then turned her back on it and reached for the thermos bottle. She poured coffee into it, then collected the compass, hammer and tacks and strips of cloth. Thrusting them into a canvas knapsack she pulled a scarf over her face, put on her cross-country ski shoes, yanked thick, fur-lined mittens on her hands and opened the door.

The sharp, biting wind made a mockery of the face scarf. The muffled lowing of the cows in the dairy barn reminded her of the exhausted sobs of deep mourning. The sun was coming up, dazzling against the snow, harsh in its golden-red beauty, a far-off god that could not affect the bitter cold.

By now Clyde would be inspecting the dairy barn. Other hands would be pitching hay in the polebarns to feed the scores of black Angus cattle, which were unable to graze beneath the hard-packed snow and would habitually head there for food and shelter. A half-dozen men working on this enormous farm, yet there was no one near the house -- all of them were small figures, seen like silhouettes, against the horizon....

Her cross-country skis were outside the kitchen door. Jenny carried them down the six steps from the porch, tossed them on the ground, stepped into them and snapped them on. Thank God she'd learned to ski well last year.

It was a little after seven o'clock when she began looking for the cabin. She limited herself to skiing no more than thirty minutes in any direction. She started at the point where Erich always disappeared into the woods. The overhead branches were so entangled that the sun barely penetrated through them. After she'd skied in as straight a line as possible, she turned right, covered about one hundred feet more, turned right again and started back to the edge of the forest. The wind covered her tracks almost as soon as she passed any spot but at every turning point she hammered a piece of cloth into the tree.

At eleven o'clock she returned to the house, heated soup, changed into dry socks, forced herself to ignore the tingling pain in her forehead and hands, and set out again.

At five o'clock, half frozen, the slanting rays of the sun almost vanishing, she was about to give up for the day when she decided to go over one more hilly mound. It was then she came upon it, the small, bark-roofed log cabin that had been built by Erich's great-grandfather in 1869. She stared at it, biting her lips as savage disappointment sliced her with the physical impact of a stiletto.

The shades were drawn; the house had a shuttered look as though it had not been open for a time. The chimney was snow-covered; no lights shone from within.

Had she really dared to hope that when she came upon it, that chimney would be smoking, lamps would glow through the curtains, that she'd be able to go up to the door and open it?

There was a metal shingle nailed to the door. The letters were faded but still readable: ABSOLUTELY NO ADMITTANCE. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED. It was signed Erich Fritz Krueger and dated 1903.

There was a pump house to the left of the cabin, an outhouse discreetly half-hidden by full-branched pines. She tried to picture the young Erich coming here with his mother. "Caroline loved the cabin just as it was," Erich had told her. "My father wanted to modernize the old place but she wouldn't hear of it."

No longer aware of the cold, Jenny skied over to the nearest window. Reaching into the knapsack, she pulled out the hammer, raised it and smashed the pane. Flying glass grazed her cheek She was unaware of the trickle of blood that froze as it ran down her face. Careful to avoid the jagged peaks, she reached in, unfastened the latch and shoved the window up.

Kicking offher skis, she climbed over the low sill, pushed aside the shade and stepped into the cabin. The cabin consisted of a single room about twenty feet square. A Franklin stove on the north wall had wood piled neatly next to it. A faded Oriental rug covered most of the white pine flooring. A wide-armed, high-backed velour couch and matching chairs were clustered around the stove. A long oak table and benches were near the front windows. A spinning wheel looked as though it might still be functional. A massive oak sideboard held willowware china and oil lamps. A steep stairway led to the left. Next to it, rows of file baskets held stacks of unframed canvases. The walls were white pine, unknotted, silk-smooth and covered with paintings. Numbly Jenny walked from one to the other of them. The cabin was a museum. Even the dim light could not hide the exquisite beauty of the oils and watercolors, the charcoals and pen-and-ink drawings. Erich had not even begun to show his best work yet. How would the critics react when they saw these masterpieces? she wondered.

Some of the paintings on the walls were already framed. These must be the next ones he planned to exhibit. The pole-barn in a winter storm. What was so different about it? The doe, head poised, listening, about to flee into the woods. The calf reaching up to its mother. The fields of alfalfa, blue-flowered, ready for harvest. The Congregational Church with worshipers hurrying toward it. The main street of Granite Place suggesting timeless serenity.

Even in her desolation, the sensitive beauty of the collection gave Jenny a momentary sense of quietude and peace.

Finally she bent over the unframed canvases in the nearest rack. Again admiration suffused her being. The incredible...


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was obvious that the exhibition of paintings by Erich Krueger, the newly discovered Midwest artist, was a stunning success. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jenny MacPartland is a divorced women who is left alone with her two young children named Beth and Tina. Unfortunately, her ex-husband is no help at all and does not bother to loan some money to Jenny and her kids. Instead he pushes and threatens her to give him some money. The determined Jenny keeps on working extra hours to make more money until she met the man of her dreams...
While working in a New York art gallery she sees an artistic picture of a woman who has a very similar resemblance to her. Coincidentally, she meets the artist of the odd picture and falls in love with him. After 2 weeks of dating Erich Kruegar (the artist) asks Jenny to marry him. Stunned by the question she automatically says yes.
Once both happily married, Jenny and Erich move to a massive Minnesota farm beside a mansion. As the days go by Erich becomes very superstitious due to the fact that he is constantly talking about his mother (who resembles to Jenny) who died 25 years ago. Alas, Erich is always gone to a hidden bungalow in the forest where he is able to concentrate on his art pieces.
The days get lonely and Jenny is left alone to take care of her children. She is forbidden to take the car and is forbidden to talk to other people other than Erich. Jenny had made another marriage mistake. However, she had promised Erich that she would never leave him no matter what. Does she dare break the promise she made?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What more could a woman want? A handsome, talented, famous, wealthy man swoops into your lonely and hectic life, where you are doing everything you can to keep your career and your life as a single mother on an even keel, and saves you from the babysitters and the walks home in the snow and the busses and the unforgiving bosses. This man comes into your life, and adores you, and loves your children as if they were his own, and asks you to marry him. Any woman who spent a night as a girl tucked under the covers having fairy tales read to her would hardly be able to believe that maybe, just maybe, fairy tales do come true.
This was, indeed, the case for Jenny MacPartland, single mother of two struggling to make ends meet in New York. Just when things were looking their bleakest, Erich Krueger comes into her life. Handsome and charming, and up-and-coming name in the art world, Erich sweeps Jenny and her small family from their cozy existance in New York and takes them to the vast beauty of his family's home in Montana.
And then, things start going horribly wrong. Jenny starts to realize that maybe she was hasty, marrying this man so quickly. How much does she really know about him? About his past? And can she ever help this man that she loves exorcize the demons that have been following him for years? Or will they, in turn, come to haunt her - and her children - as well?
Mary Higgins Clark once again presents a solid piece of suspense that will leave you checking over your shoulder and making sure all the windows are locked.
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By Carole Imes on March 16 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am one of MHC's biggest fans and have read just about every novel she has ever written. This is the only one, however, that I cannot endorse. Jenny, recently divorced to loser husband, Kevin, meets rich and handsome artist, Erich, while working in a NYC art gallery. A product of old money, Erich hails from Minnesota where he also breeds prize cattle on his farm and heads up a successful family business. Erich lures Jenny and her 2 small children from NYC to the wilds of Minnesota farm country after he convinces her (without any arm twisting) to marry him. He turns out to be a 'silent' nut case and the rest of the story drags on and on and on...it is so unbelievably frustrating and unrealistic. However, to MHC's credit, although the plot lacks merit, her descriptive text and dialogue is excellent as usual. This novel was written in 1982 earlier in her writing career. Since then she has written countless dynamite novels. Accolades to MHC for getting better and better as the years go by.
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By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 28 2001
Format: Hardcover
Jenny McPartland, a divorcee and mother of 2 at 27 lives in a modest Manhattan apartment. She scrapes to make ends meet for her two daughters, Beth 3, and Tina, 2.
Her luck seems to change when she meets the charismatic Erich Krueger at an art gallery where she works. She is literally swept off her feet by Erich and subsequently marries him. They leave Manhattan for Erich's ancestral home in Granite Springs, Minnesota.
Once in Minnesota, alarming facets of Erich's personality appear. His relentless obsession with his dead mother, Caroline and his constant references to her are alarming. It is interesting that he applies no maternal name to her; she is always "Caroline." Caroline at the start of this story has been dead for over 25 years, having died in 1956 when Erich was then 10. (The story is set in 1981-83). Erich insists Jenny dress like Caroline; wear Caroline's aqua colored gown to bed; use the same pine scented soap Caroline used and in general, replace the mother he lost at 10.
More cracks appear in Erich's seemingly flawless armor. Mysterious deaths are part of the Granite Springs home. A young woman disappeared some 10 years earlier and is presumably dead; dogs also were presumably killed and Jenny and Erich's baby dies a mysterious death. Jenny's daughters say that Jenny killed their brother, that she "covered his face with a blanket."
But did she? Jenny doubts this. She also has doubts in Erich, who kidnaps the girls and hides even more terrifying secrets on and around the property. Life with Erich, as Jenny was to discover was a chilling portrait etched in terror.
Definitely worth 10 or more stars. This is my favorite book by Mary Higgins Clark.
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