Nighttime Is My Time Hardcover – Apr 6 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This time out, Clark ups the ante from her standard female-in-peril plot to three females in peril, all targets of a serial killer who fancies himself a night-hunting predator: "I am the Owl," he whispers to himself after he has selected his prey, "and nighttime is my time." The Owl kills his first victim, then it's off to attend his 20th high school reunion at Stonecroft Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson, where he intends to do in the last several women who humiliated him when he was a geeky high school student. Jean Sheridan, one of the intended victims, was actually nice to the Owl, but he decides she has to die anyway because someone told him she once made fun of him. Jean's daughter, Lily, whom Jean gave away at birth, must also die, for obscure reasons, as must Laura, the class beauty. In the course of stalking and capturing these three, the Owl kills several innocent bystanders just to vent his anger and alludes to dozens more he has slaughtered over the years. The game here is figuring out which of the men who come to the reunion, all former nerds, is the Owl: Carter Stewart, now a genius playwright; Mark Fleischman, a psychiatrist with a syndicated television program; Gordon Amory, television magnate; Robby Brent, famous comedian; or Jack Emerson, local real estate tycoon. If the killer's animal fetish is the Owl, then Clark's is surely the red herring as she cleverly throws them in by the dozen, providing irrefutable proof that first one man, then another, must be guilty. Since any of the men might be the killer, the final revelation is anticlimactic, but Clark's multitude of fans will be happy enough to spend time with the innocent and imperiled Jean and to participate in the guessing game.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As graduates of the Stonecroft Academy class of '84 prepare for their twentieth high-school reunion, only a pimple-faced reporter for the school paper notes that this class has seen more than its share of mysterious deaths--and that all of the victims, one of whom died on the eve of the reunion, were members of a popular clique. The lovely Laura, now an actress, has survived thus far, but will she make it through the reunion? And what about Jean? She was popular, too, but she seems to have found the killer's soft spot. We know from the start that the murderer is a classmate--but not which one. We only know it was someone who was spurned by girls and made fun of by everyone, someone who dubbed his evil alter ego The Owl. But Jean treated him differently back then; when he didn't make the team, she had a kind a word for him. Jean's mind currently is on the anonymous messages threatening Lily--the daughter she gave up years ago. Who knows that Lily is hers? While trying to uncover who's taunting her, The Owl gets way too close. Clark's certainly mastered the art of the page-turner, and though many characters are relatively shallow and the plot somewhat predictable, fans will enjoy the comfort of watching the Clark formula unwind yet again. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
But while rumors abound that, since Alison stepped on so many people to just get to her high position, and that she was always a cruel queen bee in school, Jean likes to think that Alison only had a fainting spell in her pool and was not murdered by forced drowning. But what frightens Jean the most is the very threatening faxes that she has been receiving about Lily, he secret daughter an eighteen-year-old Jean was forced to give up for adoption to a kindhearted couple when the father of Lily was tragically killed.Read more ›
Something is rotten at the Stonecroft Academy's twentieth reunion. Of seven girls who shared a lunchtable 20 years ago, five have been done in by the Owl. He plans on getting the last two at the reunion. So much for bullying!
This is a pretty good read, even if a little over the top and melodramatic in a few sections. A real page turner.
Some of my friends don't care for Mary Higgins Clark's work, but I have enjoyed the five novels of hers I have read. She is prolific and has written 31 books in the past 30 years.
I had the privilege as a journalist of meeting her and interviewing her about 10 years ago during a book signing tour. She's a very gracious and warm lady who makes time for her fans and readers. She is both personable and genuine.
She said she knows the endings of her books before she writes them. "I have to know," she said. "Not the details, but I know which of my suspects is guilty.
She sets out a number of red herrings in this book set at West Point, New York. The journey to find the real killer is an interesting one. Mary lives in Saddle River, New Jersey and has a summer home in Cape Cod. She has 5 grown children and her favorite children's book is A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter.
The Queen of Suspense, as she is known by many fans, says she "loved to tell scary stories since I was age 5."
James A Anderson, Author
There are several problems, as I see it, with the writing of this book. One is the way Clark handles thought processes. This is not an example from the book, but illustrates my point:
Wow, thought Jean, It still amazes me that, as a girl growing up with two parents who hated each other, thus not affording me the loving environment one feels children should have, and given the horror of discovering the man I loved was dead, both of which must have scarred me severely emotionally ... And so on. The past is told through thought, and it just seems inauthentic to me.
Another problem I had was with the ending itself. I will not reveal it, but with a good mystery, the reader is left thinking, "I should have figured that out." This is not the case with Nighttime. In the case of this book, the author seems to have (badly) penned a story, and at the end just picked one character whom she decided would be the murderer. Rather than provide clues to lead readers to the murderer, all she did was mislead and provide a few dead ends.
It's a bad writing style, it assumes no intelligence on the part of the reader, and I do not recommend it.
An eclectic cast of characters will be attending, one of whom is a murderer. Each comes with an agenda and with the exception of one character, all are possible suspects.
Alison, the hateful wretch who delighted in ridiculing her classmates. When she is found dead in her swimming pool, it is impossible to feel sorry for her and one thinks she finally got the come uppance that was long overdue.
Laura - the stereotypical Golden Girl. Blond and blue-eyed, she delights in mocking people and is a shallow, selfish character. It is not surprising that she uses people and works closely with the hateful Alison. When she ends up missing, it is very possible that she has her own agenda as well.
Dr. Jean Sheridan, the Class Success Story. Armed with a secret past, she fears for her daughter's life, the child she placed for adoption hours after the baby's birth.
Joel - the boy Romeo who was the brunt of Alison's satircal wit. An adulterer with a shady financial past, he, too emerges as a possible suspect.
Howard/Carter - the Beatle mopped boy who was also a whipping boy for his peers. A successful playright, he exacts revenge by using his classmates as literary targets, which served them right.
Gordon - the scrawny, abused child who suffered further humiliation at Stonecroft. The once browbeaten child becomes a successful television mogul in his own right. He, too has an agenda and is reliving his painful past when the duplicitious Laura uses him to further her career.
Mark - The psychiatrist who heals his own painful past by helping adolescents.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Loved this book. Kept me guessing till the end. Could not but it down.Published 18 months ago by Diane Milon
This is a riveting novel depicting the mind of a killer. The story is of a murderer nearing the end of his mission of vengeance against women who had mocked and humiliated him... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2007 by Toni Osborne
Want three really good books to read? NIGHTTIME is certainly one. But Roth's PLOT AGAINST AMERICA and McCrae's THE CHILDREN'S CORNER are also good bets. Read morePublished on April 2 2005 by Ruth Varshack
Set in the very real, very familiar town of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, the exclusive Stonecroft School is holding its 20th Anniversary Reunion. Read morePublished on March 30 2005
This book was terrific. There are so many twists and turns that you did not know what to think. The fact that all the girls were friends and that Jeannie had a secret that she... Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Lorraine Brown
Yeow! What a thrilling thriller! I was on pins and needles during the entire story. Thanks to Ms. Mary Higgins Clark, I now have NO fingernails left...Thank You Very Much! Read morePublished on June 28 2004 by Shana Black
i love mhc books and have read every single one of her books, and although i was really anticipating this one to be great and really wanted to, it fell short of her usual. Read morePublished on June 24 2004
I've been in a dry spell in the past month trying to get involved in a book and this one cured me - I found it extremely gripping, fun and impossible to put down. Read morePublished on June 7 2004