I've always wondered why Mary Higgins Clark remains so popular, and LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART did nothing to provide me with an answer. Never mind Suzanne Reardon, the gorgeous brunette (aren't they all?) who turned up murdered ten years ago. The real corpse is the book, an uneven, utterly unconvincing piece of puerile fluff that I literally threw against the wall upon reaching its thoroughly implausible conclusion.
Clark's sole narrative strength is her control of pace--because her story moves so swiftly and her chapters are so short, it's easy to scarf down the cliche-ridden, plain-vanilla prose even while realizing that you're not enjoying a particularly imaginative or substantial meal. Here we have the same kind, intelligent, beautiful heroine who finds herself lost in a tangled web of murder and lies, yada yada yada...the only thing that distinguishes this bland protagonist from the other prototypes from Clark's feminist factory is her name, Kerry McGrath (God, even that sounds artificial). It really doesn't matter who killed Suzanne Reardon, because Clark doesn't seem to care one way or the other. As I neared the end, I started thinking, "Oh, God, no, she's gonna make the killer that person...no, not even SHE would stoop that low." But she did stoop that low. To me, identity of the killer wasn't just a lame disappointment--it felt like an outright cheat. Especially since I'd invested much more time and energy than these characters really deserved. Someone please explain to Ms. Clark that while it's OK to make the murderer the least likely person--Agatha Christie did it all the time--you might want to include a chain of logic (and maybe even a few clues would have been nice) so that it comes close to making sense, plotwise.
Speaking of the divine Dame Agatha, I think I'll go reread another one of her mysteries right now--that's probably the only way I'll be able to get that awful genre hackwork taste out of my mouth.