Mary Higgins Clark’s latest mystery finds Zan Moreland wondering if she’s lost her mind. Two years ago her young son was kidnapped in the middle of the day from Central Park while the baby-sitter dozed. Zan was, of course, devastated and has spent thousands of dollars looking for Matthew. But there are new developments on Matthew’s fifth birthday. Someone who was in the park that day has come forward with pictures that show a woman taking the child—the woman looks exactly like Zan. Zan knows she didn’t do it, but there are plenty of other strange things happening like her credit cards showing charges she didn’t make. She swears she’s the victim of identity theft, but quite a few people, including Matthew’s father, doubt her story. Could Zan have really taken her own son?
The mystery of I’ll Walk Alone is fantastic; an extra bonus for fans of Mary Higgins Clark is that it features Alvirah and Willy who appear in a number of Clark’s books. There’s good misdirection as to who kidnapped Matthew and is now tormenting Zan (it is quickly revealed that Zan is not crazy although she spends most of the novel trying to prove that) which causes the big reveal to be a bit shocking. The pacing is good, but some of the reveals could have been placed a little better.
The reader already knows Zan is being framed when the baby-sitter speculates about what really happened that day. Although I enjoyed her incorporation, it would’ve served the plot better if it had come in earlier. Another issue with the reveals is in regards to who really did kidnap Matthew which doesn’t come until very late in the novel. Waiting so long to make the reveal of the mastermind behind the tormenting of Zan means that the wrap-up happens quickly. There’s little to explain the motivation behind it all.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Date of Publication: April 2011