The novel opens with a man from New York driving 35 miles through a snow storm to dump the body of a woman he murdered beside a steep path in Morrison State Park.
Safely back in the city, he realizes “the one ghastly mistake he had made, and knew exactly who would almost inevitably detect it.”
The late Ethel Lambston hadn’t been a particularly popular woman. The 60-ish freelance writer had a knack for annoying people which she practiced until her tongue was lethal.
Her ex-husband had been so glad to be shut of her that he opted for life-long alimony payments that are keeping him and his second wife in poverty 20 years later.
Douglas, her nephew and sole living relative resents her treating him like a lackey.
Even the fashion designer Ethel paid to select her outfits for her, Neeve Kearny, didn’t like her much.
And Neeve’s father, former NYC police commissioner Myles Kearney, had met Ethel once and never wanted to see her again.
Well-plotted and well-paced, While My Pretty One Sleeps is formula fiction, but done well enough that readers won’t object.
While My Pretty One Sleeps by Mary Higgins Clark
Simon and Schuster. ©1989. 318 p.
1989 bestseller #10; my grade: B
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni