Every Breath You Take
By Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
Published by Simon and Schuster
Reviewed by Paul Brooks
Mary Higgens Clark has written a lot of books and still is able to come up with a fresh plot and a new way to enthral and thrill her readers. Not bad at the age of 90.
In this collaboration with best-selling author Alafair Burke, Every Breath You Take is an exciting ride.
In the first paragraph of the prologue we meet the woman who is about to meet a tragic end. Virginia Wakeling, 68, dies at a Metropolitan Museum of Art fundraiser, an event she organised. The roof was her last stand: the ground took her fall.
Cut to chapter 1, three years later, and we are introduced to Laurie Morgan, her son Timmy and her father, retired NYPD First Deputy Police Commissioner Leo Farley.
Laurie produces a TV show called Under Suspicion, consisting of news specials focusing on cold criminal cases. The death of Virginia Wakeling becomes a subject of her show.
There is also a sub-plot concerning her fractured relationship with former Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley and her trying relationship with replacement host and former lawyer Ryan Nichols.
It is Ryan who wants the show — Laurie's show — to investigate Virginia's death, mostly to clear the man under suspicion, the much younger personal trainer who was Virginia's lover.
Laurie is reluctant but eventually agrees and the investigation begins, an investigation to find a killer and make some good television.
Clark and Burke have written a good story with a strong plot and well-developed characters. Even secondary roles are well rounded and interesting, with everything geared towards moving the story along and keeping the reader turning the pages.
The television show is the subject of a series of Clark and Burke books, an imaginative hook on which to hang crime stories and their subsequent "investigations," the depth of which is always subject to the demands of higher bosses and their close watch on ratings and schedules.
For a good read and the incentive to look at other books in the series as well as others by either of the authors, Every Breath You Take is a good place to start.