Today’s featured book is from an author I’ve enjoyed for years. The Melody Lingers On, by Mary Higgins Clark, is a headline-making finance scandal and a breathtaking tale of deception.
Intro: Thirty-year-old Elaine Marsha Harmon walked briskly from her apartment on East Thirty-Second Street in Manhattan to her job as an assistant interior decorator fifteen blocks away in the Flatiron Building at Twenty-Third Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Her coat was warm but she had not worn gloves. There was a distinct chill this early November morning.
She had twisted her long auburn hair and fastened it at the back of her head. Now only wisps of it blew around her face. Tall, like her father, and slender, like her mother, she had realized after graduating from college that the life of a teacher was not the way for her to go. Instead, she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology and after receiving a degree had been hired by Glady Harper, the doyenne of interior decorating among the wealthy and the socially ambitious.
Teaser: Back at the table, he unfolded the Times first. Then with dismay he read the headline on the right-hand side of the page. “Parker Bennett’s Secretary Indicted as Co-conspirator.” (p. 77).
Synopsis: As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon is accustomed to visiting opulent homes. So her latest job at a modest New Jersey townhouse is unusual. Then she learns the home belongs to the wife of disgraced finance magnate Parker Bennett, who vanished two years earlier, along with the five billion dollar hedge fund he managed.
The debate over whether Bennett was suicidal or staged his disappearance still continues. Both his clients and the federal government want to trace the money and find him. But Lane is surprisingly moved by Mrs. Bennett’s steadfast faith in her husband’s innocence. Gradually, Lane is also drawn to the Bennetts’ son, Mark, who is equally determined to prove his father is not guilty. What she doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to the notorious family, the more her life—and that of her five-year-old daughter—is in jeopardy.
What do you think? Do the excerpts grab you? Would you keep reading?