“The mistress of high tension” (The New Yorker) and undisputed Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark brings us another New York Times bestselling novel that she “prepares so carefully and executes with such relish” (The New York Times Book Review) about the murder of a respected doctor—and his beautiful young wife charged with the crime.
Dr. Gary Lasch, famous Greenwich, Connecticut doctor and founder of the HMO Remington Health Management, is found dead in his home, his skull crushed by a blow with a heavy bronze sculpture, and his wife, Molly, in bed covered with his blood. It was the Lasches’ housekeeper, Edna Barry, who made the grisly discovery the morning after Molly’s unexpectedly early return from Cape Cod, where she had gone to seclude herself upon learning of her husband’s infidelity. As the evidence against Molly grows, her lawyer plea-bargains a manslaughter charge to avoid a murder conviction.
Released from prison nearly six years later, Molly reasserts her innocence to reporters, among them an old school friend, Fran Simmons, an investigative reporter and anchor for a true-crime show. Molly convinces Fran to research and produce a program on her husband’s death. As hidden aspects of Gary Lasch’s life and the affairs of Remington Health Management come to light, is Fran herself the next target for murder?
READING GROUP GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: 1) Mary Higgins Clark is wonderfully adept at using imagery to help readers create a detailed mental picture of a character. For example, Molly is described as looking like "a beautiful bird perched at the end of a branch, poised but ready at any second to take flight." (p. 15) Find and discuss another example of imagery used to fine-tune a character's external and internal identity. 2) Reread the scene in chapter eight where Fran is unpacking in her new apartment, and compare it to Molly's "homecoming" to Greenwich. How does each woman's different situation affect the way she handles the transition into her new life: the way she acts, thinks, feels, and even eats. 3) Molly's conviction in Gary's murder was originally due in large part to a rush to judge by the police, anxious to close their investigation. Do you think that police are often so anxious to solve a case that they zero in too quickly on one suspect? Do you think the police would have been able to spot the actual killer had they not assumed so quickly that Molly was guilty? 4) Discuss Fran's role as a reporter versus her role as Molly's friend. Does this "conflict of interest" compromise the integrity of Fran's reporting -- or does it spur her on to investigate even harder? Does a reporter who grows too close to her subject have an ethical responsibility to remove herself from the story? 5) One of the major clues in the mystery surrounding Gary's murder is the "clicking" noise that Molly recalls hearing the night he died -- a noise she comes closer and closer to identifying as the story progresses. This is just one example of how the author builds suspense throughout the novel. Discuss other ways in which the story is revealed in bits and pieces as Molly regains her memory, and how the author uses the device of amnesia to build suspense. 6) Many suspense novels are later adapted for television or the movies. Compare these different mediums and how the advantages and limitations of each one affects the way a story unfolds. For example, in what ways does the plot of We'll Meet Again differ from the storyline for a television show like "Murder She Wrote?" Which medium offers more ways to dramatize the story, add layers to the narrative, and build suspense? 7) Mary Higgins Clark offers a frightening glimpse of today's health-care system in crisis, underscoring the desire of some doctors to make important medical discoveries -- often at the expense of their patients. Do you think that illegal medical experimentation occurs in our hospitals on a widespread basis? Overall, are today's doctors more interested in making money than providing good medical care? 8) Molly Lasch, after her release from prison, decides to see the "other woman" in her husband's life, Annemarie Scalli. How do these two women relate to each other and what does Molly learn from Annamarie about her husband, as a man and as a doctor? 9) Did you find it puzzling that Fran is sympathetic to Molly even when she thinks Molly is guilty of murder? Is Fran more likely to show compassion to a person in trouble because of what happened to her father? 10) Mrs. Barry was deeply concerned that her son Wally might have killed Gary Lasch, but she told no one. Was her failure to report her suspicions the understandable reaction of a mother protecting her troubled son? Was it a criminal act? If Mrs. Barry had come forward at the time of the murder, do you think Wally would have been blamed for it? Or would her disclosure have forced the police to expand their investigation, perhaps enough to expose the real killer? 11) Discuss the unique dynamics of Cal and Jenna's marriage. Is there any real love between them, or are they together only because each possesses something that the other one needs? How does the constant play for power between them affect their relationship? Was this marriage destined to fail from the very start? 12) At the end of the novel the real killer is disclosed. Did the author hint throughout the narrative who the real killer was -- or did this plot twist come as a surprise? Discuss ways in which the author plants real clues, as well as "red herrings," to build a mystery that is solved only in the final pages. 13) Both Molly and Fran came face-to-face with tragedy -- and survived. How does each woman deal with the cards fate has dealt them? Who do you think is the stronger woman, and why? In what ways have the tragedies they have faced made them into the women they are today? 14) Discuss how the author uses secondary characters in pivotal roles that propel the story forward. Which of these characters affected the outcome of the story the most? Gladys the waitress? The busboy? Lou Knox?
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.