Mary Higgins Clark’s Silent Night is the sort of novel that used to be called a diversion.
A doctor with leukemia comes to New York for surgery, accompanied by his wife and two sons. While he’s in the recovery room, Mrs. Dornan takes the boys to Rockefeller Center to distract them and drops her wallet.
Although the wallet contains several hundred dollars in cash, it also contains a St. Christopher medal that the boys’ grandmother told them will keep their father safe. The younger boy, Brian, 7, sees a young woman snatch the wallet and follows her.
The woman, Cally Siddons, arrives home to find her brother, Jimmie, there. He has escaped from prison, shooting a guard in the process. Hot on her heels, Brian arrives demanding his mom’s wallet.
Jimmie appropriates the money and decides to take Brian hostage. He has a stolen car waiting near Cally’s apartment and a girlfriend waiting at the Canadian border. Jimmie bundles Brian into the car and they head north into a nasty winter storm.
If, in the spirit of Christmas, you can overlook the absurdities of the plot, the story will occupy you while you wait for Santa Claus, but Silent Night will never replace A Christmas Carol.
Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark
Simon and Schuster. ©1995. 154 p.
1995 bestseller #8; my grade: C+
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni