Review: The Shadow of Your Smile (Mary Higgins Clark)

The Shadow of Your SmileGoodreads Summary: In The Shadow of Your Smile, worldwide bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark weaves a spellbinding thriller revolving around a long-held family secret that threatens to emerge and take the life of an unsuspecting heiress.

At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave.

Olivia has in her possession letters from her deceased cousin Catherine, a nun, now being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church—the final step before sainthood. In her lifetime, Sister Catherine had founded seven hospitals for disabled children. Now the cure of a four-year-old boy dying of brain cancer is being attributed to her. After his case was pronounced medically hopeless, the boy’s desperate mother had organized a prayer crusade to Sister Catherine, leading to his miraculous recovery.

The letters Olivia holds are the evidence that Catherine gave birth at age seventeen to a child, a son, and gave him up for adoption. Olivia knows the identity of the young man who fathered Catherine’s child: Alex Gannon, who went on to become a world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents.

Now, two generations later, thirty-one-year-old pediatrician Dr. Monica Farrell, Catherine’s granddaughter, stands as the rightful heir to what remains of the family fortune. But in telling Monica who she really is, Olivia would have to betray Catherine’s wishes and reveal the story behind Monica’s ancestry.

The Gannon fortune is being squandered by Alex’s nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with philanthropy.

Now their carefully constructed image is cracking. Greg, a prominent financier, is under criminal investigation, and Peter, a Broadway producer, is a suspect in the murder of a young woman who has been extorting money from him.

The only people aware of Olivia’s impending choice are those exploiting the Gannon inheritance. To silence Olivia and prevent Monica from learning the secret, some of them will stop at nothing—even murder.

My Thoughts: The Shadow of Your Smile is not the best book of Mary Higgins Clark. I have read a lot better ones. But still it kept me fascinated and I did not want to stop reading. As with all novels by Mary Higgins Clark, this one as well is written in many small chapters switching perspective between the characters every few seconds. I love this style of writing because it keeps the tension up. It is similar to a daily soap. You get a relatively small bit of information and then the episode ends with something compelling that makes you want to know more. Her chapters are exactly the same. But then, you have to wait a few chapters because in the next ones, different characters play the main role and new insights into the story are given. In the end of the novel, all pieces of the puzzel fall into places and you can figure it out by yourself. Once again she was able to surprise me with an outcome of the story that I was not expecting.

As usual, Mary Higgins Clark develops a big group of different characters who seem to have nothing to do with each other in the beginning. But after a while you figure out while they are all equally important to the story. Every one of them is a piece of the puzzle. I think the word puzzle describes the stories of Mary Higgins Clark the best because that is what it is for the reader and that is what kept me reading. I wanted to solve the puzzle and see the whole picture.

The story is not the best of all times and not extremely new. Also I would have loved to get to know the characters a bit better and in more detail to actually feel with them. That is something I was definitely missing in this story. Only if you feel to be a part of the story, it is a brilliant story and the author was able to grab your attention completely. That did not happen with this book.

Nevertheless, when I was reading it, I was really busy at work and with traveling. Therefore, I would not have been able to read a complicated story anyway. So, if you are searching for a book that does not bore you but at the same time does not demand your full concentration, then this is definitely the book you are searching for. It is an easy and compelling read and thus the perfect companion on travels or during busy times. The short chapters make it easy to stop often without loosing track of what is happening.

Overall, the book did not disappoint me but it also did not knock me over.

More info about Mary Higgins Clark.

My Rating: ★★☆☆

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