The Second Time Around
By Mary Higgins Clark
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9780743206068, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 15, 2003
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Nicholas Spencer, charismatic head of the medical research company Gen-stone, involved in the development of an anticancer vaccine, suddenly disappears. His private plane crashes en route to Puerto Rico, but his body is not found.
Early results of the vaccine seemed highly promising. Yet, coinciding with Nicholas Spencer's disappearance comes news that the FDA is denying approval. Then follows the shocking revelation that Spencer had looted Gen-stone of huge sums of money -- including the lifetime savings of people who had risked every penny they had.
Marcia "Carley" DeCarlo, the thirty-two-year-old columnist for the "Wall Street Weekly," is assigned to cover the story. Carley is the stepsister of Spencer's wife, Lynn, an aggressive PR woman and socialite, whom she dislikes and distrusts.
The day after news of her husband's disappearance rocks the financial and medical world, Lynn attends a meeting of the stockholders of Gen-stone, flaunting expensive clothing and jewelry. Accused of having participated in the scam, she appears indifferent to the anger and despair of the people attending, among them a man whose child has cancer and who is now about to lose his home. That night, she narrowly escapes death when her mansion in Bedford, New York, is set on fire. She turns to Carley, begging her to use her investigative skills to prove that she was not her husband's accomplice.
As Carley proceeds with her investigation, she is confronted by seemingly impenetrable questions: Is Nicholas Spencer dead or in hiding? Was he guiltyor set up? Why the sudden reversal in medical opinion of the vaccine from recognition to condemnation? And as the facts begin to unfold, she becomes the target of a dangerous group involved in a sinister and fraudulent scheme.
"The Second Time Around" is Mary Higgins Clark at her best, telling a story that intertwines fiction with the stuff of real-life headlines in a novel of breathtaking suspense and surprises.
Mary Higgins Clark's books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold over 85 million copies.
She is the author of twenty-seven previous suspense novels. Her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington, was re-issued with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story, in June 2002. Her memoir, Kitchen Privileges, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 2002. Her first children's book, Ghost Ship, illustrated by Wendell Minor, was published in April 2007 as a Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of four holiday suspense novels Deck the Halls (2000), He Sees You When You're Sleeping (2001), The Christmas Thief (2004) and Santa Cruise (2006).
Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon & Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of the International Crime Congress.