Synopses & Reviews
In this riveting thriller from Queen of Suspense and #1 New York Times
bestselling writer Mary Higgins Clark brilliantly weaves the mystery of twin telepathy into a mother’s search for a kidnapped child, presumed dead.
When Margaret and Steve Frawley come home to Connecticut from a black-tie dinner in New York, their three-year-old twins, Kathy and Kelly, are gone. The police found the babysitter unconscious, and a ransom note from the “Pied Piper” demands eight million dollars. Steve’s global investment firm puts up the money, but when they go to retrieve the twins, only Kelly is in the car. The dead driver’s suicide note says he inadvertently killed Kathy.
At the memorial, Kelly tugs Margaret’s arm and says: “Mommy, Kathy is very scared of that lady. She wants to come home right now.” At first, only Margaret believes that the twins are communicating and that Kathy is still alive. But as Kelly’s warnings become increasingly specific and alarming, FBI agents set out on a desperate search.
Traumatized by the kidnappings of her twin three-year-old girls, only one of whom was recovered, a mother begins a desperate search when her returned daughter claims that the other twin, believed dead, is still alive and in mortal danger. Reprint.
< b="">A New York Times Bestselling Author<>< p="">When three-year-old twin daughters, Kelly and Kathy, are kidnapped, the parents manage to raise the eight-million-dollar ransom. But only Kathy is returned along with a note that states that Kelly is dead. Only the mother is willing to believe when Kathy says: "Mommy, Kelly is crying for you and she is scared." Guided only by the telepathic communication between the twins, the mother sets out to search for Kelly - who is still alive, but in mortal danger.< p="">Simultaneous Publication with Simon and Schuster's Standard Print Edition.
In this riveting "New York Times" bestseller, the Queen of Suspense brilliantly weaves the mystery of twin telepathy into a mother's search for a kidnapped child, presumed dead. RThis suspense thriller is certain to send terror into the heart of any parent.S--"Publishers Weekly."
About the Author
Mary Higgins Clark
's books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold over 85 million copies.
Her next suspense novel, Where Are You Now? will be published by SimonandSchuster in April 2008.
She is the author of twenty-six previous suspense novels, Where Are the Children? (1975), A Stranger Is Watching (1978), The Cradle Will Fall (1980), A Cry in the Night (1982), Stillwatch (1984), Weep No More, My Lady (1987), While My Pretty One Sleeps (1989), Loves Music, Loves to Dance (1991), All Around the Town (1992), I'll Be Seeing You (1993), Remember Me (1994), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1995), Silent Night (1995), Moonlight Becomes You (1996), Pretend You Don't See Her (1997), You Belong To Me (1998), All Through the Night (1998), We'll Meet Again (1999), Before I Say Good-Bye (2000), On the Street Where You Live (2001), Daddy's Little Girl (2002), The Second Time Around (2003), Nighttime is My Time (2004), No Place Like Home (2005), Two Little Girls in Blue (2006) and I Heard That Song Before (2007). She is the author of three collections of short stories, The Anastasia SyndromeandOther Stories (1989), The Lottery Winner: AlvirahandWilly Stories (1994) and My Gal Sunday: Henry and Sunday Stories (1996). Her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington, was re-issued with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story, in June 2002. Her memoir, Kitchen Privileges, was published by SimonandSchuster in November 2002. Her first children's book, Ghost Ship, illustrated by Wendell Minor, was published in April 2007 as a Paula Wiseman Book/SimonandSchuster Books for Young Readers.
She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of four holiday suspense novels Deck the Halls (2000), He Sees You When You're Sleeping (2001), The Christmas Thief (2004) and Santa Cruise (2006).
Two of her novels were made into feature films, Where Are the Children? and A Stranger Is Watching. Many of her other works, novels and short stories, were made into television films.
Mary Higgins Clark's fame as a writer was achieved against heavy odds. Born and raised in the Bronx, her father died when she was eleven and her mother struggled to raise her and her two brothers. On graduating from high school, she went to secretarial school, so she could get a job and help with the family finances. After three years of working in an advertising agency, travel fever seized her. For the year 1949, she was a stewardess on Pan American Airlines' international flights. "My run was Europe, Africa and Asia," she recalls. "I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down." After flying for a year, she married a neighbor, Warren Clark, nine years her senior, whom she had known since she was 16. Soon after her marriage, she started writing short stories, finally selling her first to Extension Magazine in 1956 for $100.
Left a young widow by the death of her husband from a heart attack in 1964, Mary Higgins Clark went to work writing radio scripts and, in addition, decided to try her hand at writing books. Every morning, she got up at 5 AM and wrote until 7 AM, when she had to get her five children ready for school. Her very first book was a biographical novel about George Washington, inspired by a radio series she was writing, "Portrait of a Patriot." Originally published in 1969 by Meredith Press with the title Aspire to the Heavens, it was discovered years later by a Washington family member and re-issued in 2002 with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story.
Mary Higgins Clark's first suspense novel, Where Are the Children? was published by SimonandSchuster in 1975. It became a bestseller and marked a turning point in her life and career. It is currently in its 75th edition in paperback and was re-issued in hardcover as a SimonandSchuster classic.
Freed to catch up on things she always wanted to do, she entered Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979 with a B.A. in philosophy. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fordham University in 1998. She is a past trustee of Fordham University and Providence College and currently on the Board of Governors of the Hackensack College Medical Center. She has nineteen honorary doctorates.
She is #1 fiction bestselling author in France, where she received the Grand Prix de Literature Policière in 1980 and The Literary Award at the 1998 Deauville Film Festival. In 2000, she was named by the French Minister of Culture "Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters."
Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by SimonandSchuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of the International Crime Congress.
Active in Catholic affairs, Mary Higgins Clark was made a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor. She is also a Dame of Malta and a Lady of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. She received the Catholic Big Sisters Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and the Graymoor Award from the Franciscan Friars in 1999. Honors she has received include the Gold Medal of Honor from the American-Irish Historical Society (1993), the Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (1994), the National Arts Club's first Gold Medal in Education (1994), the Horatio Alger Award (1997), the Outstanding Mother of the Year Award (1998), the Bronx Legend Award (1999), the 2001 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Passionists' Ethics in Literature Award (2002), the first Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award (2002), the Christopher Life Achievement Award (2003), the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award (2008), the Carol M. Reilly Award (2008) and the International Mystery Writers' First Lady of Mystery Award (2008). She is an active advocate and participant in literacy programs.
In 1996, Mary Higgins Clark married John Conheeney, the retired Chairman and CEO of Merrill-Lynch Futures. They live in Saddle River, New Jersey. Between them, they have seventeen grandchildren - Mary's six and John's eleven.
Reading Group Guide
Reading Group Guide
The priest went to Margaret and Steve and, in a voice trembling with compassion, said,
"God has sent you back one of your little girls. Kelly is safe. Kathy has been taken to Him."
Reeling from the bittersweet return of one of their kidnapped twin daughters, Margaret and Steve Frawley are sadly trying to go on with their lives for the sake of the remaining twin, Kelly. However, Kelly is adamant that her sister is not dead, warning, "Mommy, Kelly is crying for you and she is scared." The police, along with a twins' specialist, think Kelly is just mourning the death of her sister in her own way. But when Kelly gets bruises that appear out of nowhere, exhibits signs of a sickness that isn't hers, and offers important bits of information about the case, it becomes clear to Margaret that her daughter is experiencing twin telepathy -- she is feeling Kathy's pain and trying to lead her parents to the missing girl before it is too late.
Fighting against the clock and the popular opinion that she's having a mental breakdown, Margaret Frawley uses her maternal instincts and the special bond between her daughters to bring her family back together. But there are suspicious characters at every turn -- from the executives at her husband's company who supply the money for the ransom to the wealthy neighbor who acts as the liaison to the kidnappers to the blackest sheep in their very own family. And one of them is the "Pied Piper," the person who orchestrated the crime . . . the one leading the Frawleys, the police, and even his co-conspirators to Cape Cod where he plans to wash away all the evidence that connects him to the Two Little Girls in Blue.
- Who did you think was the Pied Piper? Were you satisfied with the answer? Were there any characters who escaped your suspicion? If so, which ones?
- "Staring with disdain at his fellow kidnapper, Lucas was reminded once more that they could not have been more different in both appearance and temperament" (page 4). Compare and contrast the characters of Lucas and Clint. Is one more of the "bad guy" than the other? If so, explain why.
- "Why would someone take my babies?" (page 14). After the kidnapping, Margaret goes from being a hysterical mother to a proactive one. Give examples of each phase of grief -- shock, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, acceptance and hope -- that she passes through. Which phase triggers a memory that had been eluding her, a memory that brings her closer to the truth?
- Prior to the kidnapping, Margaret kept a journal documenting the twins' behaviors. What events does the journal foreshadow?
- "I've always been a just-in-case person . . ." (page 142). Examine the character of Angie and piece together her history in the book. Are her behaviors cunning and cautious? Or careless and reckless?
- "Everything had been clicking along so smoothly, and then the one weak link in the chain, the one he always knew was a problem, had indeed become the problem" (page 204). Who or what is the "weak link" for Richard Mason and how does it break?
- The color blue appears throughout the novel, some in subtle references. List them all. What does this motif add to the story?
- "What I like about the way this played out is that he might have gotten away with all of it if he had trusted Lucas not to tell Clint who he was" (page 321). What other instances of irony are there in this novel?
- Kathy and Kelly are identical twins yet they have their own distinct personalities. How would you describe each girl? Do you think they seem too dependent upon each other? Or do they each prove their own strengths by the end of the novel?
- Review the story The Pied Piper of Hamelin and discuss the obvious, and not-so-obvious links to Two Little Girls in Blue.
- Have you read other books on twin telepathy? If so, how are they similar to or different than this novel?
Who Said That?
Test your memory. See if you can guess which character said the quote below.
- "Even asleep they're still holding hands. Isn't that precious?" (Answer on page 10.)
- "I never had kids, but it doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what those poor parents are feeling now." (Answer on page 18.)
- "I shall save my appearance before the media for another day." (Answer on page 37.)
- "I like red because it is a happy color." (Answer on page 45.)
- ". . . criminals make mistakes. They think they've thought of everything, but they do make mistakes." (Answer on page 54.)
- "Waiting does not seem long once it is accomplished." (Answer on page 94.)
- "Grief separates as many people as it brings closer . . ." (Answer on page 140.)
- "I never had trouble getting an attractive woman. I have two divorces from smart, attractive women to prove it." (Answer on page 174.)
- "I'll do anything not to lose all this." (Answer on page 201.)
- "You and me. The two of us. That's the way it's gotta be." (Answer on page 214.)
- "When she disappeared, I put my life on hold, and it will remain on hold until I know exactly what happened to her." (Answer on page 255.)
Additional Ideas for Book Club Activities
- Learn what you can do to help find missing children at http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=245
- Take your club to a mystery weekend hotel: http://bandb.about.com/od/murder
or host your own murder mystery: http://entertaining.about.com/cs/dinnerparties/a/murdermystery.htm
- Hand out several shades of blue velvet ribbon to your book club members and let them make their own bookmarks by picking three ribbons, braiding them, and tying off the ends.
- Be the detective -- hunt down a recording of the song "Two Little Girls in Blue" and play it at your book club meeting.
- Take your bookclub to a Mary Higgins Clark event: www.maryhigginsclark.com. Click on "Appearances."
- You can sign up for the Mary Higgins Clark e-newsletter at www.maryhigginsclark.com.