Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: The Shadow of Your Smile

Long ago, I was a Mary Higgins Clark super fan.  Every time she published a new book, I snatched it up and devoured it immediately.  (That was back in the days when I had the free time to devour a book immediately- now, I need some time.)  I loved her mysteries, mixed with just a touch of romance.  I liked the "whodunnits" that she came up with.

As a matter of fact, I read her books so frequently and so voraciously that I figured out her "formula."

I have always been impressed with my mom's ability to figure out who the bad guy was in books and movies.  But maybe this is how my mom does it- she figures out the formulas.  Turns out, I've picked that skill up, and it sucks.  It takes the fun out of reading a story when I already know the surprise ending.

MHC always writes a strong female main character.  She always has two love interests to decide between.  And you always like one just a little bit more than the other.  Turns out, this is a good thing, because that one you like a little bit less is the bad guy.  BAM!  Mystery solved.

After making this discovery, I gave up on MHC.  I didn't want to waste my time reading a mystery when I already knew whodunnit.

But recently, I found myself without a book to read, and the desire for something mindless.  (I realize that MHC's books will never be shelved with the classics.)  I decided to give her another try, and hope for the best.  So I downloaded "The Shadow of Your Smile" onto Katarina the Kindle.
 I am happy to report that in this particular book, MHC strayed from her formula.  Huzzah!  I managed to read the entire book, and be surprised at the surprise ending- well, kinda.

I did not figure out whodunnit.  But I also didn't really care by the time it was revealed who did.  The build-up to the end was entertaining, but the ending itself fizzled.  The declarations of never-ending love after one date were absurd.  The "woman scorned" routine was not exactly ground breaking.  And all of the packages tied up with neat little bows were boring.

But all in all?  I got what I was looking for: a mindless read.  If you have ever been a fan of MHC, I say give this one a shot.  But if you're looking for something truly exciting, thought-provoking, or intelligent?  Maybe skip this one.

Three stars out of five.

And just so you know how I roll?  After finishing up this mindless read, I've got two more on the docket.  I'll take a stab at some more serious literature once I finish "Explosive Eighteen" and "Kill Alex Cross."  Maybe. 

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