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I'll Walk Alone: A Novel [Hardcover]

Mary Higgins Clark
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 5 2011
THE QUEEN OF SUSPENSE IS BACK! Mary Higgins Clark’s new novel—the thirtieth and most spine-chilling of her long career as America’s most beloved author of suspense fiction— is about the newest and most up-to-date of crimes: identity theft.

Who has not read about—or experienced—with a sinking feeling the fear that someone else out there may be using your credit cards, accessing your bank account, even stealing your identity.

In I ll Walk Alone, Alexandra “Zan” Moreland, a gifted, beautiful interior designer on the threshold of a successful Manhattan career, is terrified to discover that somebody is not only using her credit cards and manipulating her financial accounts to bankrupt her and destroy her reputation, but may also be impersonating her in a scheme that may involve the much more brutal crimes of kidnapping and murder. Zan is already haunted by the disappearance of her own son, Matthew, kidnapped in broad daylight two years ago in Central Park—a tragedy that has left her torn between hope and despair.

Now, on what would be Matthew’s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child, followed by a chain of events that suggests somebody—but who? Zan asks herself desperately, and why?—has stolen her identity.

Hounded by the press, under investigation by the police, attacked by both her angry ex-husband and a vindictive business rival, Zan, wracked by fear and pain and sustained only by her belief, which nobody else shares, that Matthew is still alive, sets out to discover who is behind this cruel hoax.

What she does not realize is that with every step she takes toward the truth, she is putting herself— and those she loves most—in mortal danger from the person who has ingeniously plotted out her destruction.

Even Zan’s supporters, who include Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner and amateur detective, and Father Aiden O’Brien, who thinks that Zan may have confessed to him a secret he cannot reveal, believe she may have kidnapped little Matthew. Zan herself begins to doubt her own sanity, until, in the kind of fast-paced explosive ending that is Mary Higgins Clark’s trademark, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an unexpected and shocking revelation.

Deeply satisfying, I’ll Walk Alone is Mary Higgins Clark at the top of her form.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Review

Praise for Mary Higgins Clark's I'll Walk Alone:


“Fans will bite their nails to the quick.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A gripping plot, a likable female lead, and a wonderfully eclectic cast of supporting characters.”
Library Journal Express

“Teeming with tantalizing twists, Clark’s crackling tale of identity theft, revenge, and murder is a tempting and thought-provoking thriller.”
Booklist

“Hang on to your hats for this latest page turner. . . . Scary.”
Fresh Fiction

“One of Mary Higgins Clark’s most suspenseful books. Fans and newcomers alike will find themselves staying up all night to find out what happens next.”
Bookreporter
(na) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-two suspense novels; three collections of short stories; an historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges and two children’s books, The Magical Christmas Horse and Ghost Ship. She is the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five suspense novels: Dashing Through the Snow, Deck the Halls, He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, The Christmas Thief, and Santa Cruise. More than 100 million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone, and her books are worldwide bestsellers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll walk alone May 27 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a great read! It kept me in suspense until the end! I recommend this book to everyone who likes suspense.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review Feb. 13 2012
Format:Hardcover
You may also read my review here: [...]

Having been a LOOOOOONG time fan of Mary Higgins Clark, I bought her new book without even reading the synopsis (actually still hadn't until I was doing this blog entry). It was a pleasant surprise to see that Alvirah Meehan, a recurring character in Mary Higgins Clark's books - whose debut was in Weep No More, My Lady but more famously, The Lottery Winner - was also a character. However, unlike most of the 'Alvirah and Willy' books, she wasn't a MAIN character and I was okay with that as she tends to be a bit over the top.

In typical Mary Higgins Clark fashion, this book kicked off with a bang and kept going with each and every turn of the page. Immediately, as with all 'who-done-it' books, you pick the most odvious of characters and the 'bad' guy but her writing style nevers lets you rest on that... maybe is becomes predictable that your first guess is rarely right but she has been known to throw enough curveballs in that you just never know. Switching from one 'bad' guy to another, wondering if she did it or didn't do it, really made this book a page-turner!

As a parent, if I had read the synopsis of this book, I would have been concerned about the whole kidnap and murder plot as I don't really like reading about young kids in distress (to close to home) so I was happy that the murder ...

... SPOILER ...

...wasn't of her child. In fact, it was nice to see/hear from Matthew a few times throughout the novel. (breathing sigh of relief)

... END SPOILER ...

Overall, another must-read by the queen of suspense.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop." -- Psalm 102:7 (NKJV)

The book's jacket copy is an artful and unusually good introduction to this book. I couldn't do nearly as well. Read it.

What if someone tried to destroy your life by framing you for a horrible crime that you didn't commit, a crime that would cause everyone to detest you? If you already felt guilty for having made mistakes, no doubt the accusations would be devastating. That's the basis of the suspense and the sympathy that most readers will feel for Alexandra "Zan" Moreland, the book's heroine, whose son was kidnapped two years earlier than the book's beginning.

Two of the strengths of this book are that the pacing is relatively fast and involving a large number of narrators allows for quick splices of perspective that keep the story from dragging as the suspense builds. I know how hard it is to write a novel that's relatively strong in both dimensions, and admired the skill displayed.

One of the book's weaknesses is that it's much too easy to figure out who the villain is.

Another serious weakness is that a number of the minor characters aren't developed enough to make them fully understandable and interesting. Having the characters was necessary for the plot to work, but you won't be engaged by them.

There's also a missed opportunity to put the heroine into more personal peril . . . rather than great anguish. I recently listened to a narration of Cara Black's Murder in the Palais Royal, which also deals with a frame-up and the physical threats in that book made the story much more lively and exciting.

So what's the right star rating? I think it's about 3.5 . . . and I rounded up.

Guard your identity!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good read May 1 2011
Format:Hardcover
Did not ever suspect the real villain in this one until the last pages...reminiscent of early Mary Higgins Clark style
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  323 reviews
83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turning mystery but I guessed who did it early on April 5 2011
By Reviewer from Queens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Overall I enjoyed this book and it not only focused on an unsolved crime but also idendity theft in a very intriguing way. The story's heroine is Alexandra "Xan" Moreland, a Manhattan based divorcee whose reputation is being destroyed by a person or persons unknown. She is even being accused of kidnapping her own small child, Matthew. The other protagonists include Xan's ex husband publicist Ted Carpenter, her amateur detective friend Alvirah Meehan, and Fr. Aiden O'Brien. At the same time Zan needs to survive in the competitive field of interior design and is faced with being a direct competitor of her former boss. Mary Higgins Clark focues on various characters in each chapter from Fr. Aiden O'Brien pondering a shocking confession that he had heard to the sympathetic thoughts of a prospective client of Zan's to thoughts of the babysitter who was sleeping when Matthew had been kidnapped. There are many red herrings throughout the book. I was able to guess who was responsible early on despite this. This is a highly recommended entry in the Higgins Clark series. The only quibble is the lack of character development in some of the protagonists. I had to backtrack in one case to recall one of the characters in the plot towards the conclusion of the book.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spine-tingling 'what if?' April 5 2011
By Dee18 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Alexander "Zan" Moreland has lived through every mother's worst nightmare - the abduction of her child. When he was just three years old, young Matthew Moreland was nabbed from his stroller while his babysitter slept nearby. For years after his disappearance Zan, at the time an up and coming architect, believed her former boss and business rival was responsible for her son's kidnapping. She spent huge sums of money on private investigators and psychics in the search for her son . . . to no avail.

Two years later and Zan is dreading Matthew's upcoming fifth birthday, yet another year she will have to mark his absence from her life. But then something happens that gives Zan hope that Matthew is still alive, coupled with the choking torment of false accusation.

A surveillance video surfaces of that awful day in Central Park, the day Matthew was taken. Except Zan appears in the grainy footage - or someone who looks like Zan - and she is seen taking Matthew from his stroller.

Shortly after this video surfaces, Zan's accounts are drained and her identity stolen.

Suddenly the grieving mother becomes the number one suspect in a two-year old cold case. Zan's friends think she killed Matthew and nobody believes that a doppelganger is out to wreck her life.

But is this identity theft, or is someone out there intent on stealing Zan's entire life?

`I'll Walk Alone' is the latest suspense thriller from Mary Higgins Clark.

If you can believe it, this is actually my first ever Higgins Clark read. Of course I have heard a lot about her, and even watched a few telemovie adaptations of her novels. But `I'll Walk Alone' is the first novel of hers I've read, and I've got to say it's about time.

The novel opens with spine-tingling intrigue as a priest listens to the guilty confession of a mystery woman ... Thus begins Clark's disturbing tale of kidnap and stolen identity. I was pretty much hooked from the start, following that perplexing opening chapter. What comes next is the heartbreaking story of young Matthew Moreland's disappearance and his mother's two years of torment wondering what became of her son . . .

When video footage surfaces of Zan Moreland kidnapping her son (followed shortly with the draining of her bank accounts) the story careens into a thrilling new trajectory of suspense. Zan is suddenly public enemy number one - a piranha in the community and vilified by the media. The police start asking questions about Matthew's cold case and Zan's friends all but turn their back on her. . . Clark really delves into the shattered psyche of an accused parent. We've seen it in the media again and again, dating back to the Azaria Chamberlain disappearance and the subsequent witch-hunt of her mother, Lindy Chamberlain.

I think what makes the spine-tingle and the goosebumps spread while reading this book is the `what if?' aspect. A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare, it's the basis of every "don't take candy from strangers!" teaching. And when coupled with the latest public paranoia of identity theft, Mary Higgins Clark has concocted a guaranteed thriller.

The initial storyline of Matthew's kidnapping reminded me a little of the Michelle Pfeiffer movie about a kidnapped son who is found nine years later, `The Deep End of the Ocean' (1999). But once the identity theft plot comes into play, the novel catapults into a whole new stratosphere of `worst nightmare'.

Kidnapped and missing children have (bizarrely and unfortunately) been at the centre of many news stories in recent years. The still-missing Madeleine McCann who was abducted in 2007, and more recently (and with a tragic conclusion) Zahra Baker.
My one complaint is perhaps to do with the wide scope of the novel. I thought a missing child storyline would offer plenty of juicy plot twists and turbulence, and sometimes I felt that the addition of an identity theft plot was just a little too much . . . but I suppose that's what Higgins Clark is known for - her outlandish thrillers with killer twists.

Mary Higgins Clark's latest novel is certainly a nail-biter. It takes us through an accused parent's hopeless frustration with the police and media while she continues to hunt for her missing child. The novel veers into a cautionary tale of identity theft, and also plays-out a courtroom drama that will have you gritting your teeth. The twists and turns are fabulous and careening, even if the many thrilling storylines are somewhat over-cooked.
37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MHC Wrote This????? April 8 2011
By JanaB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read this book in one day, but about halfway through the novel I was skimming over pages just to finish it. This was definitely not one of her best novels (and I guess the villian half-way through). It felt like the author was just putting something down on the page because she had a deadline to meet. None of the characters were very sympathetic, and the motivation of the "bad guy" was just not believable. My favorite MHC novel was "Remember Me," a thriller set on Cape Cod. Now that was a great book! The characters felt real, you understood what motivated them, and the plot kept you guessing. I was hoping for another Remember Me, but this wasn't it. I'm still a big MHC fan, though.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ya Know, There's Just Something about Mary... April 25 2011
By Steven James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have been a fan since I was 12-years-old and read WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN while on a lake vacation with my family. I am now 48 and I still get excited each Spring when Mary Higgins Clark releases a new book. It's almost like a rite of passage. While I agree with many reviewers that her later books aren't up to par, there's just something comforting about a Mary Higgins Clark book.

This latest book does require some suspension of disbelief, as details/evidence seem to appear miraculously and the characters are composites of every other Irish Catholic character she's created...but we know that going into it. Clark has never claimed to be Tolstoy. Her books are light, somewhat eerie, and mostly a lot of fun.

Unlike other reviewers I had no idea whodunnit in I'LL WALK ALONE. After I finished reading it last night I felt slightly ripped off because there is NO WAY the person who did it would really do it. That just added to the fun of the whole reading experience. This book was pure escapism for me and I LOVED every minute of it. I am kind of sad that I finished reading it so quickly because now I know it will be another year before I get to read a new one by her. It also means I'll be another year older. A far cry from the 12-year-old who was held rapt by WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN at Lake Lacey all those years ago.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strains Credibility April 7 2011
By Smokey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clark's latest book, I'll Walk Alone, features recurring character Alvirah Meehan in a subordinate, but important role. Alvirah, a former cleaning woman who won a forty million dollar lottery, is a columnist, author and amateur detective. In this romantic suspense novel, Alvirah and husband Willy come to the aid of their friend Zan Moreland, a young interior designer whose son has been missing for two years. After new evidence surfaces that Zan may have kidnapped her own child, the Meehans stand beside her even when they suspect she really is guilty.

The novel is readable, but not one of Clark's best. Suspense is generated by characters who lie, choose not to reveal important information, cannot conceptualize something they've seen, and possess relevant information that no one takes the time to hear. Even acknowledging that fiction is allowed to take liberties, some of the coincidences strain credibility far too much, as does the elaborate kidnapping plan and the length of time it has successfully been in place. Zan's romantic interest is too abrupt and undeveloped to be satisfying. Even as a mother who has lost her son, Zan fails to generate much sympathy - at least in this reader - as she weeps and cries and screams and shrieks her way to the conclusion of her story.
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