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The Second Time Around: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Higgins Clark
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 30 2004
The "Queen of Suspense," Mary Higgins Clark, delivers a gripping tale of deception and tantalizing twists that might have been ripped from today's headlines.
When Nicholas Spencer, the charismatic head of a company that has developed an anticancer vaccine, disappears without a trace, reporter Marcia "Carley" DeCarlo is assigned the story. Word that Spencer, if alive, has made off with huge sums of money -- including the life savings of many employees -- doesn't do much to change Carley's already low opinion of Spencer's wife, Lynn, who is also Carley's stepsister and whom everyone believes is involved. But when Lynn's life is threatened, she asks Carley to help her prove that she wasn't her husband's accomplice. As the facts unfold, however, Carley herself becomes the target of a dangerous, sinister group that will stop at nothing to get what they want.

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From Publishers Weekly

There's something special about Clark's thrillers, and it's not just the gentleness with which the bestselling writer approaches her often lurid subject matter (in this one, for instance, there are numerous killings, but all occur off-page). Special above all is the compassion she extends to her characters-heroines, villains and supporting cast alike. In this latest effort, she conjures empathy even toward a mass killer, whose murderous spree has been sparked by a corporate crime. The smoothly told tale is narrated partly from the third-person perspective of the killer, and partly from the first-person point of view of Wall Street Weekly correspondent Carley De Carlo. Carley is the stepsister of Lynn Spencer, whose charismatic husband, Nicholas, dies in the crash of his small plane as he is fleeing arrest for looting the medical company he founded, which had made claims of a cancer cure, now proved false. Myriad investors have lost much, sometimes everything; one is Ned Cooper, whose beloved wife died as a consequence of Nicholas Spencer's thievery, and who determines to take revenge, setting off on a killing spree. Assigned to do a feature about the Spencer case, Carley digs deep, uncovering clues to a conspiracy within Spencer's medical company, as well as to the possibility that the cancer cure worked after all. Can she get to the bottom of the mess before Ned Cooper, or the possible conspirators, take her out? Clark's fans know the answer to that question, but what the novel lacks in suspense it makes up for in grace, charm and solid storytelling.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-A feature writer for a newspaper, Carley DeCarlo has been assigned to do an article on the life and death of Nicholas Spencer, an eminent researcher who was on the verge of developing a pharmaceutical cure for cancer. Since millions of specially donated dollars are missing from his firm, his airplane accident may have been a faked suicide, or murder. Occasional chapters feature a disturbed man as he retaliates for the death of his wife, which he blames on Spencer's firm. Carley's portion of the story is written in first person so readers follow her doubts and triumphs as clues are revealed. She is a true sleuth; she often gets a clue that confuses her, but she keeps on investigating. Tension builds gradually as readers see both the heroine and the schizophrenic at work. But is he the only villain? Short chapters help to keep the suspenseful plot moving along.
Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The stockholders' meeting, or maybe the stockholders' uprising is a better way to describe the event, took place on April 21 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Second Time Around Sept. 15 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thirty-two-year-old Marcia "Carley" DeCarlo, writer of a financial advice column and eager New York journalist, sits in a section roped off for the media in a pressroom as a man cries in outrage, a beautiful blonde woman begs her innocence, and a stiff executive endure the boos and catcalls of the crowd. What caused this scene? The answer is Nicholas Spencer, the attractive and charismatic founder of the multi-billion dollar medical corporation, Gen-stone. Spencer claimed that using his doctor-father's research, he had finally discovered a vaccine to cure and prevent cancer. Two weeks ago, Spencer's private plane crashed into the sea during a freak storm while flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he would be attending a conference. But now that Spencer is dead, a terrible rumor has surfaced, appearing to be very reliable: Gen-stone's cancer vaccine is useless, and Spencer, a con man, created an elaborate hoax, where he did not die, but only seemingly slipped off the face of the earth.

Spencer's beautiful blonde wife, Lynn Hamilton Spencer, who also happens to be the rich stepsister Carley has only met three times---and in those three times developed an extreme dislike for Lynn---claims total innocence in her husband's hoax. Can Lynn be trusted? And the man enduring the hatred of Gen-stone's donators is Charles Wallingford, a Gen-stone executive and friend of Spencer. The story is splashed across national headlines and is all over CNN. But this story becomes even more high-profile when Lynn is nearly killed in a vicious fire set on her Fifth Avenue apartment; the fire was clearly arson. Now, Lynn begs her stepsister Carley to help Lynn prove her innocence to the rest of the country. Reluctantly, Carley agrees.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flat entry by a talented writer June 12 2004
It's no doubt that Clark is one of the most talented mystery writers around, but this attempt, despite her deft handling of different points of view, falls flat. The protagonist, Carley, is likeable enough, especially when she provides details about her beloved parents. She keeps her professional journalistic wits about her at all times and cleverly pieces together the puzzle of Nicholas Spencer's demise. Where Clark stumbles is in the failure to show personality through character interaction. We don't get enough chracter dimension coming through the dialogue, perhaps because Clark uses hackneyed phrases and there never seems to be the slightest amount of conflict, particularly between Carley and Casey. Maybe Clark needs to find another editor. She uses old-fashioned names for her characters, like Ned and Edna and Vivian, and antiquated references that don't ring true for a woman in her 30s. While this tendency does bring a certain gentleness to the subject of murder and mayhem, a forward-thinking editor could clean up Clark's prose and make it more believable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Second to none! Oct. 8 2003
True to Mary Higgins Clark's distinctive writing style, The Second Time Around radiates with breezy, natural dialogue, sparkling descriptive text and an intriguing plot. Being a devoted fan, I've read practically all MHC's books and this one is another winner. At first, I was somewhat disappointed she had used first person point of view for the female protagonist, Carly DeCarlo. However, as I dug into the story, I immediately changed my mind. She did a splendid job typifying the likeable, down to earth Carly's persona intermingling her first person between chapters with the menacing Ned Cooper's third person narrative. Excellent! Carly is an investigative reporter for Wall Street Weekly, assigned to report the mysterious death of Nick Spencer, founder of Gen-Stone--a corporation claiming to have discovered a vaccine to cure cancer. Conspirators, co-conspirators, angry stockholders, a cold devious stepsister, and a psychopath killer all figure in her latest riveting, unpredictable plot filled with twists and turns. Definitely one of Clark's best!
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3.0 out of 5 stars okay, but... Oct. 4 2003
I am a fan of MHC and have enjoyed reading all of her books, including this one, but I have to admit that it was not one of her best. It was as easy read, but I hadn't gone far into the book and had it already figured out (it may be that I have been reading too many political books lately, trying to figure out what is going on in this country, that I am extra suspicious of everything) early on in the book. Carly's character could have been developed a little more and also that of her doctor boyfriend. Ned's character, a mentally deranged character, was very believable. Carly is an economist turned investigative reporter and is investigating the disappearance of Nicholas Spencer and the money that has been invested in his company, a company trying to develop a cure for cancer. Her step-sister, whom she doesn't really like, is married to him. The house that her step-sister is staying, was set on fire by an angry investor and destroyed. Anne, the step-sister, was in the house at the time and suffered minor injuries. So there is yet another mystery to find out who set the fire and then yet another one, when the police search for the person who has shot several people (actually, we know who did it, but the police don't). The book was okay but could have been sensational with a little more work. As it is, it is just a pleasant read without the after-glow feeling that I usually get when I read one of her books.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Faithful to her regular style Mary Higgins Clark kept the story moving along at a quick pace.
Enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested and involved with the... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2011 by Dianne
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a deception!
I am a huge MHC fan. I have read all her books. This one is the worst by far. I couldn't believe it. The plot and ending is so predictible. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2004 by Marie C Desjardins
2.0 out of 5 stars Um...boring.
Mary Higgins Clark absolutely should stick to writing in the third person. It just works for her. Narrating in the first person only makes this uninteresting, insipid recent novel... Read more
Published on July 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars best book i've ever read
this story keeps you wondering what will happen. It was a real page turner. Kept you thinking throughtout the book. Who really is the one to blame? Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Movie Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
This book kept me reading but I can't say that it was really fast-paced. I really liked how the author switched narratives between the first person view of Carley, the reporter... Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Kara E. Erickson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical MHC story
This book was very boring and predictable. I have read many MHC books and will not read another for a while. Read more
Published on May 18 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars She's written better.
I am an avid Mary Higgins Clark fan, but was some what disappointed with this novel. She writes it in 1st and 3rd person, which is confusing to say the least. Read more
Published on May 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's a good writer
I just finished reading this suspensful story. I couldn't put this book down. Carley figures out the plot to scam people out of their hard earned money. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by L. Sainovich
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I have read all of MHC's books and I would swear on a stack of them that she did not write this book. It just isn't her style at all. Read more
Published on April 19 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars She's lost it
I used to enjoy Mary Higgins Clark immensely and rushed for every new book as soon as it came out, but it seems Ms. Higgins Clark has lost her "bite". Read more
Published on April 13 2004
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