Picks and Pans Review: Remember Me

updated 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Mary Higgins Clark

A casual observer would conclude that Menley Nichols has a charmed life: a devoted husband, a healthy infant daughter, a career as the author of a successful series of young adult novels—and now, she has Remember House, a rambling, ocean-front Cape Cod haven where the family will spend the summer. But Menley is only beginning to deal with the death of her 2-year-old son in a car accident for which she was responsible. The birth of a new baby has left her vulnerable, disoriented and, her husband suspects, dangerous to their child.

In other words, Menley is a heroine ripe for a Mary Higgins Clark mystery—and Clark has set her down in a doozy. A ghost story with a contemporary edge, Remember Me is filled with the long-ago pain of Remember House's first mistress, a sea captain's wife who was wrenched from her newborn after being falsely accused of adultery. As the pressure mounts to separate Menley from her baby, she struggles to find the true villain in this parallel, 18th-century betrayal. She also befriends a local man, who is under investigation for the murder of his heiress wife.

Clark last ventured into similar gothic terrain in The Anastasia Syndrome (1989). While that experiment was only partially successful, Remember Me pulls it off brilliantly, harkening back to the best of Daphne DuMaurier. (Simon & Schuster, $23.50)

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