Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark

 

Suspense

Just take my heart Just Take My HeartMary Higgins Clark; Simon & Schuster 2009WorldCat

Two years after her murder, Natalie Raines’ agent and separated husband Gregg Aldrich has been charged. He had been “a person of interest” but there was no proof. Now a career criminal has come forward. He describes his encounters with Aldrich just before his wife’s death. Jimmy Easton claims Aldrich paid him to kill Raines. Easton backed out of the deal, so Aldrich committed the murder himself.

Emily Wallace is the assistant prosecutor assigned to the case. She is convinced Aldrich is guilty. She knows that Easton is suspect. He has knowledge, though, that he couldn’t have had without having been in Aldrich’s home – for the down payment on the job.

No one else has any reason to kill Raines, a famous actress. Raines’ roommate 15 years earlier had been murdered while jogging in Central Park. Raines was always certain that her roommate’s reclusive boyfriend was responsible, but her death was determined to be a mugging that went bad. Wallace gets all the information from the earlier killing but nothing connects to the current case.

Aldrich had followed Raines to Cape Cod the weekend before her death. He admits he did – he was worried about her. He also was still hoping they could reconcile. At the end of the weekend, though, he realized their marriage was over. That Monday morning he goes jogging for two hours in Central Park – he believes. That was the time Raines was murdered.

Wallace is excited to get the case. It’s the type of trial that can make a prosecutor. A few years earlier her husband died in Iraq and two years ago a valve infection caused her to have a heart transplant. Prosecuting this case will prove she is now back to full health mentally and physically. She shines in the courtroom. Despite the shakiness of the star witness, Wallace shines in the courtroom. It’s a good thing she doesn’t know there is a serial killing living next door to her.

Just Take My Heart definitely has Mary Higgins Clark’s touch. Because of the type of novel it is, the list of suspects laid out for the reader early. I had a good guess as to “who done it” due to that fact. The main characters don’t know that, though. They don’t have the reader’s overview perspective. The novel focuses on Emily Wallace but at times goes to Aldrich or other characters as they impact the novel.

Wallace’s character is well defined and sympathetic. Aldrich is not as focused but is also quite sympathetic. If you like Mary Higgins Clark’s work. you’ll be pleased with Just Take My Heart.

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