I’m going to say it right at the offset – I’ve read more captivating Mary Higgins Clarks than this one.
That’s not to say I Heard That Song Before (far be it from me to find faults but I just cannot shake the ‘bad grammar feeling’ every time I say the title) was a bad book. I’d just expected more from an MHC.
When little Kay Lansing gives in to her curiosity to steal into the chapel in the Carrington castle, little does she know what fate has in mind for her and what she might have inadvertently stepped into. Of course, given everything that happens to the 6 year-old after that one couldn’t blame her if she entirely forgot that one misdemeanour and the snatch of an argument she’d inadvertently eavesdropped on. And of course that whistled tune which reminded her of her mother. But she doesn’t forget. Even though she loses her only remaining parent, her father, soon after; she doesn’t exactly forget. Which, I think, was the first jarring note for me. Far too much romanticism, I thought.
Anyhow, it’s now some 20 years later and Kay finds herself back at the Carrington doorstep. And soon after, married to the reigning Carrington on the day. Again, too much romanticism. In fact, it reminded me a little of the movie Sabrina; the erstwhile employee’s persona non grata daughter coming back to claim the heir and how. Anybody else seen it?
There is, of course, also the twist in the tale. Because not only are Kay and her new husband separated by close to 2 decades in years but also his rather shady past, what with him being prime suspect in a disappearance as well as having a suspiciously dead ex-wife in it. And everything seems to have resurfaced now; with accusations against Carrington flying thick and fast through any medium possible. But what nobody counted on is the sudden spate of dead bodies that start turning up in the grounds of the Carrington estate. The eventual result of which sees Mr Carrington safely in jail and his wife into an unexpectedly hot soup.
I am, of course, not about to reveal how. Suffice it to say, she heard that song before.
Mary Higgins Clark’s I Heard That Song Before has the feel of a celluloid romantic murder mystery from perhaps 3 decades ago. Somehow, in my head, the characters insisted on appearing dressed in Audrey Hepburnish fashion. Maybe because I have a distinct feeling when she says ‘the ‘phone rang’ she actually means one of those things with fat, curly black cables that couldn’t be taken from one place to the other. Strange how one gets these impressions.
However, there is something a little larger than life about the characters as well as the story. And the end is, expectedly, filmi (like we say in India) too.
But it was a fun and very satisfying read so I give it a 4/5!