A decade ago, Charles MacKenzie Jr (better known as Mack) mysterious disappeared before his graduation from Columbia University. Each year on Mother’s Day, he calls home to assure his mother he’s fine and to ask his family not to look for him.
When Mack’s younger sister Caroline decides to try and piece together what happened to her brother and why, Mack warns her off by dropping a note in the collection plate at his uncle’s church. Not dissuaded by the warning, Caroline begins to delve deeper into the mystery of why Mack went away, straining her relationship with her mother and opening up connections with some of Mack’s old friends and acquaintances.
When a young college student, Lisa “Leesey” Andrews disappears, calling home to her father and brother to tell them not to look for her and she’ll call each Mother’s Day to assure them she’s fine, the police begin looking at Mack’s disappearance in a new light. Is there a connection between the two crimes or a possible greater pattern at work?
Filled with red herrings and potential suspects, Mary Higgins Clark’s Where Are You Now has an intriguing hook that carries the novel for its first half. Caroline’s digging and asking questions about the past and its potential connection to the current case drives the first half of the novel with Clark hinting there’s more than meets the eye about the disappearances. However, somewhere around the mid-point of the novel, the story begins to spin its wheels, covering a lot of the same ground multiple time without really advancing the storyline or introducing any new substantial clues to the mystery. By the time I reached the denouncement of who was behind the disappearances and why, my interest had waned substantially and the novel had lost its early element of page-turning suspense.
Perhaps had the novel been fifty to a hundred pages shorter, it might have been a more effective story and one that truly earned Clark the title of “The Queen of Suspense.”