Before I Say Good-Bye Paperback – Large Print, Feb 2005
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Mary Higgins Clark's 22nd romantic thriller is destined for bestsellerdom on the strength of her reputation alone. Which is not to say that Before I Say Good-Bye doesn't have a bit of all the ingredients of the Clark genre: a little mystery, a likable heroine, and even a nice guy who turns up midway through the novel and promises her romance and a second chance at happiness. But while the set-up is promising and the bare essentials of a compelling read are all here, only readers who are already Higgins fans will be kept completely spellbound.
Nell MacDermott is the politically ambitious granddaughter of a canny politician in Manhattan's silk stocking district, and her grandfather wants her to run for his old congressional seat. But there are rumors that Adam Cauliff, Nell's husband, has been involved in a real estate and construction scam, and until Nell gets to the bottom of this her political future will be clouded. When Adam and his assistant are killed in an explosion aboard his boat, Nell is determined to clear his name. Nudged into action by her nascent psychic powers and a medium who may be her only link to Adam, Nell learns more about her husband's mysterious past than she bargained for and--naturally--stumbles onto a conspiracy that puts her own life in danger. The narrative seems more like an outline for a novel than a novel itself; the characters are sketched rather than fully explored--particularly Nell, whose back story doesn't provide enough information to make her actions understandable. But the pacing is expert, and Clark's dedicated fans will doubtless forgive her for not making this her strongest outing. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Romantic suspense has no more reliable champion than Clark, despite the relative weakness of her writing. For 25 years, through 22 novels (counting this one), she has delivered respectable entertainment to her legions of fans, who haven't dwindled in number. This novel, too, gives them what they want--a damsel in distress aided by a dashing knight; and Clark adds a little zest to the formula by weaving psychic phenomena, including messages from the dead, throughout. The damsel is columnist Nell McDermot, granddaughter of legendary Manhattan congressman Cornelius McDermott and about to run for office herself. Nell's plans are put on hold when the ship on which her husband, Adam, an architect, is attending a business meeting is blown to pieces. Evidence surfaces that Adam may have been involved in shady deals; meanwhile, the cops investigate the explosion, with suspicion falling on a petty hood looking for vengeance for one of those deals; a new man--stalwart physician Dan Minor--enters Nell's life, as does a psychic who claims to be channeling Nell's dead husband; and a predatory real-estate developer circles Nell and property she's inherited from Adam. For much of the novel, the danger is more implied than actual, like dark clouds amassing in the sky, and often manifests itself psychically as Nell sees black auras envelop people or feels terribly afraid. The novel's finale, however, which unmasks some unexpected villains, pulls out the stops in melodramatic fashion. Clark's characters aren't deep--after donating old clothes to charity, two of them, "feeling virtuous for having done a good deed had lunch at a new Thai restaurant on Second and Eighty-first"--but they're breezy fun, and so is this confection of a book. 1.1 million first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club Main Selection; simultaneous S&S Audio; 7-city author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Nell is stunned and deeply saddened by Adam's death, regretful that their last time together had ended in such bitterness on her part. Nell's grandfather, whom everyone calls Mac, attempts to console his beloved granddaughter---who has been in Mac's guardianship since her parents' death, when she was a small girl---though it is awkward, for Mac has always disliked Adam because of Adam's refusal to allow Nell to pursue a career in being a congresswoman. Mac has constantly held secret suspicions about Adam, though he has never openly voiced them to Nell; but Mac now has a gut-feeling that these suspicions of his shall soon turn out to be really true.
Jimmy Ryan's widow Lisa is even more wracked with grief about her kind, sweet, and amiable husband Jimmy's horrible death.Read more ›
Wracked with guilt, Nell attempts to unravel the threads of Adam's life and quickly discovers a great deal about him that she never knew, and wishes she never discovered. She becomes even more disturbed when, after encouragement form her aunt, she goes to visit a medium in an attempt to gain some closure, and the medium seems shockingly insightful...
Mary Higgins Clark is okay. And that's really the extent of my opinion on the subject. This book, like the others of hers that I have read (all two of 'em) is a decent enough read to take you away or a day or so. Her plotting is good (if sometimes pushing against the boundaries of reason) and her pacing is excellent. The books move quickly, with short chapters, form scene to telling scene in a way that is well structured and thought out. There are twists throughout, and a nice level of suspense right up to the tense climax. The writing style is also good, with well-written, easy to digest prose, but it never reaches very deeply, remaining mostly floating on the surface of the plot. The same is true o her character development.Read more ›
After having a quarrel, her husband Adam's boat, Cornelia II, explodes while he and four other co-workers are on board. Feeling guilty, her great-aunt Gert suggests Nell go to see a famous medium, Bonnie Wilson. Skeptical at the beginning, Nell starts to believe everything Bonnie is telling her. But it seems there are just so many unanswered questions about the mysterious explosion. Nell has no idea that she is the next target for the insane killer.
Mary Higgins Clark's Before I Say Goodbye is a tale of tragedy, mystery, and suspense. The way Clark combines these three aspects will keep the reader up late into the night, devouring the intense story. As the plot thickens, more and more suspects begin to appear. The reader will constantly be wondering, "Who did it?" and just as you think you have it figured out, Clark twists the evidence to point to someone else. Before I Say Goodbye will keep you on the edge of your seat and is not the type of book that should be read alone.
~When Adam Cauliff's cabin cruiser blows up in the New York harbor and kills him and several of his close business associates, his distraught wife Nell McDermott is left to pick up the pieces. Nell is wracked with guilt over a fight the night before and cannot seem to get over it.
As the investigation into the explosion proceeds, Nell finds out more than she wants to about her husband's company dealings and the idea that this was prehaps not an accident that the boat blew up afterall. She begins to recieve disturbing messages from Adam via a medium and she tries to beat the clock to find the killer, what she doesn't know is that she is being watched very closely. When she gets too close to the truth, Nell finds herself in shock when faced with the ruthless killer bent on shutting her up for good.
The identity of the killer was a little bit of a surprise to me, but it was appropriate considering the facts that are revealed. I did like this story a lot, but I wished it had more suspense instead of so much investigating into the explosion with all the politics involved.
Most recent customer reviews
I definitely would recommend this book , it was hard to put down, full of suspense it was a page turnerPublished 20 months ago by Kindle Customer
It is SO LONG. Really thick. There's nothing in these characters that makes you care about them. Nell is a rich snob with an annoying grandfather. Read morePublished on July 17 2004
I have been reading all sorts of reviews about mary higgins clarks books and I can't believe my ears. Read morePublished on April 8 2004 by Nikkita
This was a great read. I enjoyed it throughly. Ms. Clark developes wonderful characters, and she uses them to masterfully keep you guessing to the end. Like most of Ms. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by S. K. Leggate
Although this is not MHC's best work, this book is worth the read. Nell MacDermott is toying with the idea of running for office. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003
This isn't Mary Higgins Clark's best, but it's still an entertaining story. Unfortunately, I got the audio version in which the narrator's interpretation of men's voices consists... Read morePublished on July 15 2002 by Diane Davis
I enjoy Mary-Higgins Clark a great deal, and found I enjoyed this book pretty well. It took a bit of getting into at first, but after the first couple chapters, it had my attention... Read morePublished on July 11 2002 by J. Kirkman
I am frankly disgusted with Jan Maxwell's reading of this novel. Her reading is at best whiny and annoying rather than representing the strength of character that the various... Read morePublished on May 20 2002 by Katie F.