cover image Daddy's Gone A Hunting

Daddy's Gone A Hunting

Mary Higgins Clark. Simon & Schuster, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6894-0

This slight novel from MWA Grand Master Clark (The Lost Years) shows her in less than top form as she unabashedly piles on coincidences. An early morning explosion that rocks Long Island City, N.Y.'s Connelly Fine Antique Reproductions kills Gus Schmidt, a disgruntled former employee, and leaves Kate Connelly, the owner's eldest daughter, unconscious and seriously injured. Why Kate and Gus were at the site is one question disturbing Hannah Connelly, Kate's younger sister. Complications abound for the financially troubled company, its owner, and plant manager Jack Worth. Also figuring in the unwieldy plot are homeless Vietnam vet Clyde Hotchkiss; aspiring actress Tracey Sloane, who's been missing almost 28 years; and the unsolved murder two years earlier of Jamie Gordon, a Barnard senior with a social conscience. Clark strains credulity and fails to achieve much suspense as she tries to pull all these elements together before the hoary resolution. This one is for devoted Clark fans only. (Apr.)