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Just Take My Heart: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – March 23, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A must-read for mystery enthusiasts.”
“Fans will be as excited as ever coming down the home stretch.”
More About the Author
I was a Christmas Eve baby all those years ago, the second of the three children of Nora and Luke Higgins. Mother was pushing forty when they married and my father was forty-two. My older brother was named Joseph. Nineteen months later I, Mary, was born. Three and a half years later, my little brother, John, came along.
We lived in a very nice section of the Bronx on a street off Pelham Parkway. I loved our house. I still love it. After my father died, when I was eleven, my mother had to sell it.
I went to Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School. Two years ago I went back and was Principal for a Day. Escorted by two of the tiniest children, I was led into the auditorium while the whole student body sang "Hello Mary. You're back where you belong." I still tear up thinking about it.
I was awarded a scholarship to Villa Maria Academy which is in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, otherwise I couldn't have afforded to set foot in it.
I went to Woods Secretarial School and at eighteen had my first full-time job as Secretary to the creative director of Remington Rand's in-house advertising agency. If I were making that choice now I would have gone to college even though God knows we needed the income. On the other hand the three years I spent in Remington Rand was a tutorial in advertising which served me well when I was widowed with five small children. Another plus was that I left Remington to be a flight stewardess with Pan American Airways and when my contemporaries were seniors in college, I was flying to Europe, Africa and Asia.
Warren Clark and I were married on December 26, 1949 and had five children in the next eight years; Marilyn, Warren, David, Carol and Patricia. Warren died of a heart attack in 1964. The highest compliment I can pay my kids are that they are like him.
I sold my first short story when I was twenty-eight. It was alled 'Stowaway'. It had been rejected forty times before a magazine in Chicago bought it for one hundred dollars.
My first book was about George Washington. It was published in 1969 and disappeared without a trace. Three years ago Simon and Schuster co-published it with the Mount Vernon Historical Society and retitled 'Mount Vernon Love Story', it became a bestseller.
My first suspense novel 'Where Are the Children' was bought in 1974 for three thousand dollars by Simon and Schuster. Thirty-three books later, I'm still with S&S.
Time to wind up - at least for the present. As soon as I sold 'Children' I enrolled in Fordham College. Went there for five years at night and earned a B.A. in Philosophy. Summa cum laude, if you please.
I never thought I'd marry again but ten years ago I threw a cocktail party on St. Patrick's day. My daughter, Pat, urged me to invite John Conheeney. Her opening words about him were, "Have I got a hunk for you!" He came to the party and we were married eight months later.
I'm Honorary Chairman of FraXa Research. My grandson, David, has the Fragile X syndrome, which is the second leading cause of retardation after Downs Syndrome. Basically the brain of the people who have it can't send out the proper signals because there's a kind of short circuit in the synapses that carry the signals. We raise money for research with the goal of finding a medication that will work around that short circuit. I go all over the country to the fund-raisers as new chapters of FraXa are opened.
I'm always asked to name my favorite book. They're ALL my favorites. If there is one book that is very special to me, it is my memoir 'Kitchen Privileges' because writing it made me relive my early life including those first struggles to become a writer. I think 'Kitchen Privileges' is both tender and funny and it's me.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts off fairly standard- Gregg is indicted for murdering his estranged wife Natalie Raines, a successful actress. We get a brief glimpse of Natalie through her mother's eyes. She describes her daughter as having stardust clinging to her. The book follows the preparations of Emily Wallace, the assistant prosecutor who is on the case.
A side plot grabbed me in the beginning- Emily's neighbor offers to care for her dog with the intent of gaining access to her house with the nefarious intent of 'touching everything she wore'. It's not long before Emily realizes there is something creepy about Zach.
The book continues on, following the trial, which reveals the details of the crime little by little. Emily is 'young and beautiful' but also smart and leveraging a strong case against the defendant.
About a quarter of the way into the book we get a big twist- Emily, the tough assistant prosecutor, has had a heart transplant after losing her husband in Iraq. The rest of the book unfolds in a very interesting way (which you'll just have to read to find out)centering around the idea of certain 'memories' from the original donor being brought along with a transplanted organ. Just whose heart does Emily have?
I have been reading Mary Higgins Clark for years and she delivers a great murder mystery, yet again, just this time with a very interesting twist.
This is not a difficult read or perhaps 'great literature' but it is highly entertaining. It is a quick and easy read, very enjoyable once you get into into it (took me a couple of chapters to build momentum simply because of the character view point switches).Read more ›
I could not rate the book higher, however, based on the courtroom materials. In my occupation, I am frequently called as an expert witness so I spend a good deal of time in court, in chambers, and in conferences with attorneys. Clark, in building up the Emily character, seemed to go well beyond the bounds of believability. There is no way an inexperienced prosecuting attorney should have been able to waltz around a team of lawyers, one of whom with many years of practice. The defense attorney was so weak, that a mistrial could have been called. Emily got away with much too much latitude in her questioning and the defense never pulled apart the obvious loop holes in her argument. The guy should have been more ready to object to her offensive behavior. The leg work done at the appeal should all have been considered the first time around. I would love to have written the cross examination myself!
The whole heart thing also seemed pretty weak. It really was not a major issue in the story and seemed to be simply a tag-on. Why it rated mention in the title is beyond me. Furthermore, Clark should have done more research in organ transplant. It is impossible to believe that anyone in an office could have had a heart transplant without the knowledge of others. In the course of a transplant, a person is not gone a few days/weeks and returns like they were on vacation without someone knowing. Even the anti-rejection drugs which might be taken for months if not years have noticeable effects including a change in appearance. Come on Mary, your background work was flawed and although it is fiction, it has to be somewhat credable.
Skip it (or borrow from the library).
In regards to the plot, the phrase "what are the odds of this really happening" came to mind many times during my reading. She wasted most of my reading time letting her characters wander through the disjointed plot, going here and there but not seeming to tell a fluid story. And in the end, she seemed to realize she had a deadline and tried to bring the entire plot together, solve the mystery and tie up the loose ends in the last 15 pages with a mass confessional of both villains and hero's. If you want to read a really good book, read "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen. It was an excellent surprise to find a new author with such fresh and inspired writing talent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You can't go wrong with Mary Higgins Clark. No language, no sex. Perfect wholesome reading.Published 19 days ago by Julie H. Lauritzen
Another great story with some twists and turns ad well as a few surprises with a great ending!!Definitely worth reading...Published 1 month ago by gator
The first Mary Higgins Clark book I ever read (earlier this year) was "The Shadow of Your Smile". Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
I am never disappointed when I pick up one of her books. It becomes a favorite by the 5th chapter. Her characters are believable and familiar as old and dear friends.Published 2 months ago by Kim Jackson
A good story with lots of twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by Faye Johnson