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Cover image for Just take my heart a novel
Title:
Just take my heart a novel
ISBN:
9780743579674

9780743579650
Edition:
Abridged.
Publication Information:
[New York, N.Y.] : Simon & Schuster Audio, p2009.
Physical Description:
5 sound discs (ca. 5 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from web page.

Compact discs.
Added Corporate Author:
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Summary:
When her best childhood friend Natalie goes onto life support after an awful accident, Emily O'Connor, a 34-year-old professor at Boston Layman College, begs the hospital to use her dying friend's heart in a transplant. The transplant recipient? Emily's other best childhood friend, Alice. But with Natalie's death and Alice's heart surgery comes a series of unsettling and complex discoveries that may put Emily's own life in danger.
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Summary

Summary

In her new thriller, America's #1 bestselling Queen of Suspense delves into a legal battle over the guilt or innocence of a man accused of murdering his wife. Woven into her plot is an eerie, little-understood but documented medical phenomenon -- the emergence of a donor's traits and memories in the recipient of a heart transplant.

Natalie Raines, one of Broadway's brightest stars, accidentally discovers who killed her former roommate and sets in motion a series of shocking events that puts more than one life in extreme peril.

While Natalie and her roommate, Jamie Evans, were both struggling young actresses, Jamie had been involved with a mysterious married man to whom she referred only by nickname. Natalie comes face to face with him years later and inadvertently addresses him by the nickname Jamie had used. A few days later, Natalie is found in her home in Closter, New Jersey, dying from a gunshot wound.

Immediately the police suspect Natalie's theatrical agent and soon-to-be-ex-husband, Gregg Aldrich. He had long been a "person of interest" and was known to have stalked Natalie to find out if she was seeing another man. But no charges are brought against him until two years later, when Jimmy Easton, a career criminal, suddenly comes forward to claim that Aldrich had tried to hire him to kill his wife. Easton knows details about the Aldrich home that only someone who had been there -- to plan a murder, for instance -- could possibly know.

The case is a plum assignment for Emily Wallace, an attractive thirty-two-year-old assistant prosecutor. As she spends increasingly long hours preparing for the trial, a seemingly well-meaning neighbor offers to take care of her dog in her absence. Unaware of his violent past, she gives him a key to her home...

As Aldrich's trial is making headlines, her boss warns Emily that this high-profile case will reveal personal matters about her, such as the fact that she had a heart transplant. And, during the trial, Emily experiences sentiments that defy all reason and continue after Gregg Aldrich's fate is decided by the jury.

In the meantime, she does not realize that her own life is now at risk.

A compelling novel that probes the mysteries of the human heart and mind, Just Take My Heart is Mary Higgins Clark's most spellbinding tale.


Author Notes

Mary Higgins Clark was born in the Bronx, New York on December 24, 1927. After graduating from high school and before she got married, she worked as a secretary, a copy editor, and an airline stewardess. She supplemented the family's income by writing short stories. After her husband died in 1964, leaving her with five children, she worked for many years writing four-minute radio scripts before turning to novels. Her debut novel, Aspire to the Heavens, which is a fictionalized account of the life of George Washington, did not sell well. She decided to focus on writing mystery/suspense novels and in 1975 Where Are the Children? was published. She received a B.A. in philosophy from Fordham University in 1979.

Her other works include While My Pretty One Sleeps, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Moonlight Becomes You, Pretend You Don't See Her, No Place Like Home, The Lost Years, The Melody Lingers On, As Time Goes By and Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry. She is the author of the Alvirah and Willy series, which began with Weep No More, My Lady. She is also the co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of several holiday crossover books including Deck the Halls, He Sees You When You're Sleeping, Santa Cruise, The Christmas Thief, and Dashing Through the Snow. She writes the Under Suspicion series with Alafair Burke. In 2001, Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir was published. She received numerous honors including the Grand Prix de Literature of France in 1980), the Horatio Alger Award in 1997, the Gold Medal of Honor from the American-Irish Historical Society, the Spirit of Achievement Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University the first Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award 2002 and the Christopher Life Achievement Award in 2003.

Many of her titles have made the best sellers list. Her recent books include All By Myself, Alone, I've Got My Eyes On You, and You Don't Own Me.

Bestselling suspense novelist, Mary Higgins Clark died on January 31, 2020 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography) Mary Higgins Clark has written nineteen novels & three short story collections since 1975. She has served as president of the Mystery Writers of America & lives in Saddle River, New Jersey.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Perhaps overcompensating for her lethargic renderings of other Higgins Clark thrillers (e.g., Where Are You Now?), Jan Maxwell picks up pace smartly. The narration is a shade frenetic in the beginning, as Maxwell breathlessly introduces the key players (the murdered actress, Natalie Raines; her husband--and chief suspect--Greg Aldrich; assistant prosecutor Emily Wallace; and her serial killer stalker, Zach Lanning) in an overly upbeat chirp. The quick tempo works better as the plot slogs through procedural matters. All of the men, however, sound too much alike and the women's voices also blur at key points. These flaws aside, this audio book proves entertaining summer listening. A Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 30). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 It was the persistent sense of impending doom, not the nor'easter, that made Natalie flee from Cape Cod back to New Jersey in the predawn hours of Monday morning. She had expected to find sanctuary in the cozy Cape house that had once been her grandmother's and now was hers, but the icy sleet beating against the windows only increased the terror she was experiencing. Then, when a power failure plunged the house into darkness, she lay awake, sure that every sound was caused by an intruder. After fifteen years, she was certain that she had accidentally stumbled upon the knowledge of who had strangled her roommate, Jamie, when they were both struggling young actresses. And he knows that I know, she thought -- I could see it in his eyes. On Friday night, he had come with a group to the closing night of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Omega Playhouse. She had played Blanche DuBois, the most demanding and satisfying role of her career to date. Her reviews had been wonderful, but the role had taken its emotional toll on her. That was why, after the performance, when someone knocked on the door of her dressing room, she had been tempted not to answer. But she had, and they all crowded in to congratulate her, and out of nowhere she recognized him. In his late forties now, his face had filled out, but he was undoubtedly the person whose picture was missing from Jamie's wallet after her body was found. Jamie had been so secretive about him, only referring to him as Jess, "my pet name for him," as she put it. I was so shocked that when we were introduced, I called him "Jess," Natalie thought. Everyone was talking so much that I am sure no one else noticed. But he heard me say his name. Who do I tell? Who would believe me? My word against his? My memory of a small picture that Jamie had hidden in her wallet? I only found it because I had lent her my Visa card and I needed it back. She was in the shower and called to me to get it out of her wallet. That was when I saw the picture, tucked in one of the compartments, behind a couple of business cards. All Jamie ever told me about him was that he'd tried his hand at acting and wasn't good enough, and that he was in the middle of a divorce. I tried to tell her that was the oldest story in the world, Natalie thought, but she wouldn't listen. She and Jamie had been sharing an apartment on the West Side until that terrible morning when Jamie was strangled while jogging early in Central Park. Her wallet was on the ground, her money and watch were missing. And so wasthe picture of "Jess." I told the cops that, she thought, but they didn't take it seriously. There had been a number of early-morning muggings in the park and they were sure Jamie just happened to be one of the victims, the only fatal victim, as it turned out. It had been pouring through Rhode Island and Connecticut, but as Natalie drove down the Palisades Parkway the rain steadily lessened. As she drove farther down, she could see that the roads were already drying. Would she feel safe at home? She wasn't sure. Twenty years ago, after being widowed, her mother, born and raised in Manhattan, had been happy to sell the house and buy a small apartment near Lincoln Center. Last year, when Natalie and Gregg separated, she heard that the modest house in northern New Jersey where she'd been raised was for sale again. "Natalie," her mother warned, "you're making a terrible mistake. I think you're crazy not to try to make a go of your marriage. Running back home is never the answer for anyone. You can't recreate the past." Natalie knew it was impossible to make her mother understand that the kind of wife Gregg wanted and needed was not the person she could ever be for him. "I was unfair to Gregg when I married him," she said. "He needed a wife who would be a real mother to Katie. I can't be. Last year I was away a total of six months in all. It just isn't working. I honestly think that when I move out of Manhattan, he'll understand that the marriage is really over." "You're still in love with him," her mother insisted. "And he is with you." "That doesn't mean we're good for each other." I'm right about that, Natalie thought, as she swallowed the lump in her throat that was always there when she allowed herself to think about Gregg. She wished she could talk to him about what had happened Friday evening. What would she say? "Gregg, what do I do about having the certain knowledge that I know who killed my friend Jamie, without a shred of proof to back me up?" But she couldn't ask him. There was too much of a chance that she'd be unable to resist his begging her to try again. Even though she'd lied and told him she was interested in someone else, it hadn't stopped Gregg's phone calls. As she turned off the parkway onto Walnut Street, Natalie realized she was longing for a cup of coffee. She had driven straight through and it was quarter of eight. By this time, on a normal day, she would already have had at least two cups. Most of the houses on Walnut Street in Closter had been torn down to make way for new luxury homes. It was her joke that now she had seven-foot hedges on either side of her house, giving her complete privacy from either neighbor. Years ago, the Keenes had been on one side and the Foleys on the other. Today, she hardly knew who her neighbors were. The sense of something hostile hit her as she turned in to her driveway and pushed the clicker to open the garage door. As the door began to rise, she shook her head. Gregg had been right when he said that she became every character she played. Even before the stress of meeting Jess, her nerves had been unraveling, like those of Blanche DuBois. She drove into the garage, stopped, but for some reason did not immediately push the clicker to close the garage door behind her. Instead, she opened the driver's door of the car, pushed open the kitchen door, and stepped inside. She felt gloved hands dragging her in, twirling her around, and throwing her down. The crack of her head on the hardwood floor sent waves of pain radiating through her skull, but she could still see that he was wearing a plastic raincoat and plastic over his shoes. "Please," she said, " please ." She held up her hands to protect herself from the pistol he was pointing at her chest. The click as he pushed down the safety catch was his answer to her plea.Copyright (c) 2009 by Mary Higgins Clark Excerpted from Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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