Book Review - A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark | Blushing Geek

Book Review – A Stranger Is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark

A Stranger Is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark | Blushing Geek

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark
First published on 1977 by Pocket Books
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
283 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Find on Goodreads
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Ronald Thompson knows he never killed Nina Peterson… yet in two days the state of Connecticut will take his life, having found him guilty via due process of law. But Thompson’s death will not stop the pain and anger of Nina’s husband, Steve. Thompson’s death will not still the fears of Nina’s six-year-old son, Neil, witness to his mother’s brutal slaying. Not even the love and friendship of Sharon Martin, a journalist who is slowly becoming a part of their world, will ever erase their bitter memories. Only time, perhaps, will heal their wounds. But in the shadows a stranger waits, a cunning psychopath who has killed before, who has unfinished business at the Peterson home…


This story started with the culprit’s POV, as usual, no name dropping and that’s when the guessing game started. What I always love about MHC’s stories is that we got to act like a real detective and gather all the information so we could guess who the bad guy is, and this story didn’t disappoint at all.

The story revolves around Steve Peterson. Two and a half years ago, his wife was brutally murdered, the source of death was suffocation. She was suffocated to death using her own scarf. The crime scene was witnessed by then their three-year old son Neil. The perpetrator, or what they believed, was now being held under police care and is up for a death penalty after two days. Steve is now romantically involved to Sharon Martin, a journalist who’s openly against the death penalty. Then that same day after the interview they went together, Sharon and Neil were kidnapped, and that’s where the chasing begins.

As usual, the story is quite different to her other stories before. I love the idea actually, I love that this story also tackles about the death penalty which has been starting to make a noise here in the Philippines.

I’m sorry but I will be dropping a slight spoiler in a few minutes. Unlike her other stories, this one, it’s hard to guess who’s the real culprit because it’s obvious he/she or they were not close to the victim. It took me quite a long time but finally I was able to guess the real bad guy. It turns out that he’s not just a random killer slash kidnapper but he’s some sort of a psychopath. He adores women, especially if they’re good looking, but when he hinted that they don’t like him, he easily flipped and killed them in an instant. He is also known as recording their victims and taking their pictures.

This story was not made in a very fast pace giving us a room to gather all the proofs aiding us to know who’s the bad guy, thus making us pretty occupied and never lost our interest.

The characters were fine with me. Usually, MHC introduces so many characters in her books, but this time, it’s not that many at all so it was pretty easy to keep track of them. But guessing the culprit was quite a task because unfortunately, it was only in the middle or I guess almost a few chapters until it’s ending that his real name was introduced.

For the main characters, I love how two opposite personalities were able to fall in love. It’s been pretty clear in the first chapter that Steve and Sharon share different views about death penalty and Sharon is starting to end their relationship because they don’t agree in most things. Plus, his son, Neil doesn’t like her. But I was glad to find out how little by little Neil started to like her considering their circumstances. I guess that’s the best thing about the kidnapping thing lol. Also, in this story, the heroine was a damsel in distress, she’s so helpless unlike MHC’s other stories that I’ve read before.

The culprit was surprisingly convincing and is really lewd at the same time. I can’t comment any further than that hahaha.

The characters were fine and they were able to do their roles well. Aside from the positive characters, there were also some opposing ones which makes this story quite realistic because that’s life. Whether we like it or not, there are really some people who oppose us and some who will point us in the wrong direction.

The final few chapters were death defying and so thrilling that it was really hard for me to put it down. It was quite a happy ending with only 1 character ending up being dead. Not totally what I have in mind but still was a good way to end this story.

As usual, this story is very reader friendly which is what I always love about MHC. The writing style is impeccable and the story, the twists and turns were quite clever especially how she makes all the characters connected to each other.

The idea and the twist and turns are great but surprisingly, I didn’t find this one promising. I guess it’s because of my mood or maybe because of my impending headache but I find this story just in between. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill but I think I’m still looking for something, something that I don’t know lol, if you know what I mean. So for this story, I’m giving it a 3.5 star rating.


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7 years ago

I remember reading this in high school and loving it, actually loving all her work. Her newer stuff isn’t quite as good but she is still a great writer. 😉

7 years ago
Reply to  kindlemom1

I agree. Those books of hers that was published before were so good. I remember I’ve been so occupied with her story that I can’t concentrate on classes because I keep on thinking who’s the bad guy lol. But the new stuffs isn’t that bad at all, actually, there were some that I rated 5 stars hehe

7 years ago

I need to try one of her books someday!!

7 years ago
Reply to  LilyElement

Yay, if you could, I suggest Loves Music, Loves to Dance or The Cradle will Fall. Those stories were one of my favorites 🙂

7 years ago

I haven’t read anything by Clark in years. This sounds like one that made you think especially regarding the death penalty, and I like that. I will have to pick her up again. I have had fun lately reading Grisham whom I havent’ read in years.

7 years ago
Reply to  Heidi

I haven’t read stories from Grisham before but I have some in my TBR. I’m so hesitant to try other suspense writer because I’m picky in that genre, but maybe one of these days, I’ll try 🙂
I think it’s time you try MHC story now, especially those that were published a later time.

Carole's Random Life
7 years ago

I think that I actually have a copy of this book somewhere. I haven’t read it yet but I probably need to change that. It has been a long time since I read this author.

7 years ago

Yep, pretty much time. But I’ve got a new review coming. Another MHC story that I am sure you will also love 🙂

Alyssa Susanna
7 years ago

Dusting bookshelves is a great way to discover unread books! 😀 I’d not heard of this series. It’s quite old, wow! It sounds like this one challenged some of your views – a thought-provoking suspense novel is usually a good one. I’m glad you enjoyed this book overall, Vanessa!

Wonderful review! Have a fantastic weekend. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

7 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Yeah, I just knew about it when writing this review hehe.

Michele @ A Belle's Tales

I have this one; but again, I can’t remember much about it — it’s been too long. I avoided your spoiler, though, because I might want to pick this back up soon. I love that you’re reading this author! Thank you for the great review and the spoiler warning. Have a great weekend!

7 years ago

Hehe, you’re welcome Michele. Have a great weekend to you too 🙂

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