|Title:||Nighttime is My Time|
|Author:||Mary Higgins Clark|
|Published:||2004, Pocket Books|
|No. of Pages:||434|
|Cover Price:||$7.99 US|
Nighttime Is My Time by bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, begins with the murder of Alison, by an unknown perpetrator, who gets a personal thrill out of watching her as she dies. He calls himself “The Owl,” and hides a small pewter owl in the house; it is the only clue he leaves as to his identity.
Meanwhile, Detective Sam Deegan is re-evaluating the unsolved murder case of Karen Sommers, since the 20-year anniversary of her murder is coming up in the next week. Deegan has become close to the victim’s mother; he has kept her updated on any progress and has served as a good friend to her over the years. She is also a friend of Jean Sheridan, who lived next door while she was growing up.
Jean Sheridan, a bestselling author and P.H.D., has been invited as an honoree to her 20-year Stonecroft Academy class reunion in Cornwall-on-Hudson, the small town where she grew up. Since her home town brings back sad and bitter memories, Jean is reluctant to attend, but she feels obligated since a memorial service for her old friend Alison has been included in the events of the reunion. Other honoree’s include Laura, who, because of her incredible beauty has become a famous actress, as well as several total nerds who all remember being mistreated and ridiculed by Laura, Alison, and others who all sat at the same lunch table daily during high school; Jean sat at the same lunch table, but apparently was kinder than her popular friends. All the girls who sat at the lunch table have died previous to this reunion, one in a suicide, and the other in accidents, except Laura and Jean. Incidentally, Karen Sommers was not one of the Lunch Table Girls.
As the story unfolds, Laura turns up missing, and Jean asks Sam Deegan for help. Sam, Jean, and an obnoxious reporter all think that the murders of the “lunch-table girls” is suspect; the chances of that many deaths in a class of 90 students is not very likely, and early on the reader finds that it is The Owl who is actually responsible. He is attending the reunion to finish the job and kill Laura and Jean. During the course of the novel, the reader learns that he has been responsible for other murders of people close to the main characters, and also that he knows some of Jean’s darkest secrets.
Although the reader knows that The Owl is one of the nerds at the reunion, the nerds all had similar experiences in high school, were ridiculed, and are resentful about their treatment by the Lunch Table Girls. If this seems a little confusing, you are right. There are too many suspects who have had similar experiences, and by the end of the novel the reader just wants to find out who it is because he is sick and tired of being confused. I certainly wondered why none of the popular male friends of the Lunch Table Girls attended the reunion, why only male nerds were honored, and why only popular females were honored. Also, with that many deaths, why hadn’t there been inquiries during the twenty previous years, and why was no other evidence found to connect The Owl to other murders, especially since he left pewter owls at most of the murder scenes. With modern technology, it is almost impossible to get away with one murder, let alone several over a period of years, especially in a small town.
Although many of Mary Higgins Clark’s novels are well-written and excellent, Nighttime Is My Time is not one of them. It is mildly interesting, but so confusing it is not really worth reading. If you are a Mary Higgins Clark fan, you would be better off reading some of her other works and skipping this one.
This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.
This book may be purchased at Amazon: Nighttime Is My Time: A Novel