40 Years Later, Mary Higgins Clark’s ‘A Cry in the Night’ Is Still Creepy as Ever [REVIEW]

Woman afraid
Isolated and alone, will anyone hear her scream? (Photo courtesy Canva)

She’s a single mom struggling to make it in the big city. He’s a renowned artist from a remote farm in middle America. When they meet, it seems like kismet. Will their fairy tale romance last or will it become the stuff nightmares are made of? Find out in Mary Higgins Clark’s suspense classic, A Cry in the Night.

Mary Higgins Clark's A CRY IN THE NIGHT
Pocket Books

Jenny MacPartland may be divorced and living in a small, dilapidated New York City apartment with her two young daughters, but she’s done her best to make it feel like home. At least she loves her job working at an art gallery, where she gets the chance to rub elbows with talented artists and showcase their work.

Enter artist Erich Krueger, and up-and-comer from Minneapolis who is as compelling as the landscapes he paints. From the moment he lays eyes on Jenny, he falls hopelessly in love with her. Wealthy, attentive, and doting on her daughters, he seems like the perfect man. Within a month, they are married and living on his family farm in Minnesota.

But the house feels like a historic museum than a home, and as Erich returns to his painting Jenny feels isolated and alone, cut off from the world. As days turn into weeks, she begins to question if she made the right choice in marrying Erich. And when old family secrets begin to surface, she wonders if she and her girls will make it off the farm alive.

Forty years after its original publication date, A Cry in the Night continues to stand the test of time. Thrilling, chilling, and utterly compelling, it is a novel readers won’t be able to put down. Each page gives another detail bent on creeping us out, and yet readers will find themselves powerless to resist this tale that is guaranteed to fray the nerves.

As always, Mary Higgins Clark introduces us to compelling characters. Certainly, modern readers may question some of Jenny’s choices in the story, but a lot has changed over the years. Still, much like in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, the new mistress of the manor has a lot to learn about what it means to be the new wife of such a prominent man.

A longtime reader of Clark’s work, I was surprised I hadn’t read this one before. But A Cry in the Night is now one of my favorites from this author, ranking right up there with While My Pretty One Sleeps and Moonlight Becomes You. While aspects of the story feel familiar and predictable, Clark uses these threads of the story to manipulate our emotions and lure us into a false sense of security until she gives us a giant shove into the mouth of madness where no one can be trusted and hope seems untenable.

If you’re one of the seemingly few people in the world who has never read a Mary Higgins Clark novel, A Cry in the Night is a fine place to start. It will definitely satisfy your craving for a good suspense yarn, especially if you love Hitchcock style thrills. But if you’re a longtime fan like I am, this is also a good book to pick up when you find yourself missing Clark’s masterful storytelling. It’s a great comfort read on a lazy afternoon.

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About the author

The number one New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark wrote 40 suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books.

With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series including The Cinderella MurderAll Dressed in WhiteThe Sleeping Beauty KillerEvery Breath You Take, and You Don’t Own Me.

With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she coauthored five more suspense novels. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

By Mary Higgins Clark
352 pp. Pocket Books. $9.99

Purchase A Cry in the Night direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Half Price Books | Hudson Booksellers | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart.

Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark
(Photo by Bernard Vidal)

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to 40 Years Later, Mary Higgins Clark’s ‘A Cry in the Night’ Is Still Creepy as Ever [REVIEW]

  1. Maggie Richter says:

    She’s been my favourite author for many years. Since she died, in 2020, I’ve tried in vain to find a – somewhat – equivalent thriller writer – captivating from the very first lines, always with some character profile you can identify with, a skillful use of language, void of any hard-core scenes (violent and ‘otherwise’) yet gripping to the the core..
    And, again – without hard-core violence, below – the – belt scenes or vulgar language, she became the worldwide no 1 thriller writer.
    (take that – you writers of this genre who feel they can’t do without… 🤔)

    • Jathan Fink says:

      I agree! But there is a sequel coming out based on her novel ‘Where Are the Children Now?’ So keep an eye out for that.

      Regarding other authors, you may try pretty much anything by Elly Griffiths or Jude Deveraux’s Medlar Mysteries, which I absolutely adore. Also, John Grisham is another one who writes clean but suspenseful reads, although those are more in the legal thriller genre.

      As a Clark fan, however, I’ve also been reading older titles I missed by similar authors such as Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, Velda Johnston, and Barbara Michaels. You may look for them at secondhand stores, garage sales, or online at hpb.com, abebooks.com, or ThriftBooks.com.

      • Maggie says:

        Thank you, Jathan! That was very explicit. Now I’m hopeful to find a substitute.

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