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Catholic values pop out of major novelist’s mystery

July 19, 2009

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“Where Are You Now?”,
by Mary Higgins Clark

With more than 30 titles under her belt, Mary Higgins Clark knows how to write a mystery.

In “Where Are You Now?” she pulls out the expected array of clues and characters.

The story-line starts 10 years after a college senior disappears. Once again on this Mother’s Day he calls home. His attorney sister decides to try to locate him, but the police detectives she turns to quickly make a connection: the brother may be their best suspect in a murder and the disappearance of three young women in the same New York neighborhood.

All the good mystery pieces are there: the passionate protagonist, the love interest that may or may not be true, the greedy landlord, the nervous apartment caretakers, the demented perpetrator, the likable victims, the suspicious chauffeur, the pain of post-abortion trauma.

What?

A major American novelist works the pain of post-abortion trauma into a book that a major publisher — Simon & Schuster — prints and promotes?

Catholic writer includes her values

Okay, I’ll be clear: “Where Are You Now?” is not a mystery about abortion.

It’s just that the way abortion usually is found in mainstream publishing is that it is extremely one-sided, treating the taking of the life of the in utero baby either casually and matter-of-factly or sympathetically toward the pregnant woman with no regard whatsoever for the other living being in the picture.

It’s usually “Abortion? Nothing to it. Get it done and get on with your life.”

Author Mary Higgins Clark has found a way to live her Catholic faith in the marketplace in which she is one of the high-ranking celebrities.

And it’s a good read!

Like all good, page-turner mysteries, Clark works interesting characters through clues and dead ends, throwing suspicion on a number of them, challenging readers to ponder motives and to try to guess “who-dun-it.”

Oh, did a mention the kindly and wise old Irish monsignor? — bz
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