Friday, June 13, 2014

Because She's An Auto-Read Author, That's Why

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Do you have auto-read authors?  You know, writers whose books you grab, no matter what, just because their name appears on the cover?  I do.  Lots of them, in fact.  Case in point:  Mary Higgins Clark.  My dad introduced me to her books back when I was in junior high.  Even though she's always written for adults, Clark keeps her stories pretty much PG-rated, so I could enjoy her novels even as a teen.  And I did.  She writes in short, addictive chapters that kept me up way, way, way too late on many a school night.  All these years later, the format of her books remains the same, but the quality of Clark's writing seems to have tanked.  Or maybe I've just matured as a reader.  Whatever the reason, I'm finding her newer mysteries increasingly formulaic, predictable and annoyingly tell-y (as opposed to show-y).  And yet, I still put my name on the library's waiting list every year when a new Mary Higgins Clark mystery comes out.  Why?  I don't know!  I guess it's because I know what to expect with her—I get a fast, clean, entertaining story that requires little brain work on my part.  Some days, that's a definite win-win for me.  

Having said that, I have to admit that Clark's newest, I've Got You Under My Skin, does change up her usual formula just a bit.  The novel revolves around Laurie Moran, a 36-year-old t.v. producer.  Although she has a successful career and a charming young son, Laurie is still haunted by the murder of her beloved husband five years ago.  Especially since his killer warned that her son would be next.  Half a decade has passed with no threats, but she still can't allow herself to breathe easy.

Given all that, Laurie feels a little uneasy about her newest production project.  The true-crime reenactment program, focused on cold cases, could be the key to boosting her station's ratings.  Not to mention her career.  So, despite her misgivings, she's going forward.  The series premiere will be a doozy, too, reuniting all the suspects in the infamous "Graduation Gala" murder.  Filmed on location at the glamorous mansion where the crime occurred, the show will have enough glitz and drama to attract millions of viewers.  Especially if it leads to the discovery of a killer.  What Laurie doesn't know is that the Graduation Gala killer isn't the only one lurking around the set ... and this one's got his eyes on her.

Like I said before, I've Got You Under My Skin isn't great literature or even a very complex or clever murder mystery.  What it is is mindless entertainment, a fast, easy way to kill a few hours.  If you're looking for a effortless beach or airplane read, you can't go wrong with Mary Higgins Clark.  

(Readalikes:  Other books by Mary Higgins Clark)

Grade:

   
If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

6 comments:

  1. I think I know what you mean. Certain authors always seemed perfect to me as a child and now I'm hesitant to pick them up because I feel that University has changed my taste in reading. But I think it's important to realize that sometimes you just want a nice read that doesn't demand too much of your brain :) Great post!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  2. I just finished this one as well :)

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  3. I've never read anything by Mary Higgins Clark, but I know she is quite popular. I imagine an author's writing would start to go down hill after putting out book after book in the same genre. I know I should give her a try sometime, but maybe I'll start with an older book. Great review!

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    1. Very true, plus she's almost 90 years old, so it's kind of amazing that she's still writing at all!

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