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*****= An all-time favorite
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*        = Good, with reservations


***Silent Night

by Mary Higgins Clark

Reviewed December 20, 2004.
Simon & Schuster, New York, 1995.  154 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F CLA).

I decided to try reading a Christmas story to put me in the mood for the holidays.  Silent Night filled the bill perfectly.  My only complaint was that I hadn’t meant to stay up late reading.  I should have known that an author known for writing suspense isn’t the best choice if I wanted to stop after a few chapters.

Catherine Dornan’s husband has just had an operation for leukemia.  She wants to distract herself and her sons, so she takes them to Rockefeller Center to look at the tree.  While she is there, she drops her wallet, and a lady down on her luck picks it up.  Her seven-year-old son Michael sees this happen.  No one notices when he tries to explain what happened, so he follows the woman, desperate to get back the St. Christopher medal that his Grandma told him would make his Dad get better.

Michael ends up taken hostage by a fugitive who’s broken out of jail.  He says he’ll kill the boy if the police come after him.  They’re on their way to Canada, snow is falling, and it’s Christmas Eve.

The beginning set-up of this novel was perhaps a little forced, but once it got going, I didn’t want to stop.  Mary Higgins Clark managed to make a heart-warming, lovely Christmas story out of thriller with a child in danger.  Not an easy feat!  We have two more of her Christmas books at the library.  If I don’t read them this year, I think I’ll remember to try them next year.

This is a nice quick read.  It’s a holiday story that’s heart-warming without being mushy.  A good yarn to put you in the mood for Christmas and remind you what really counts.

Reviews of other books by Mary Higgins Clark:
Deck the Halls
Santa Cruise

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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