by Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark
published by Pocket Books (division of Simon & Schuster), New York, 2000
Age group: mid-teen to adult
Described as mother “Queen of suspense” and daughter “bestselling author” working together for the first time to “create an exciting and entertaining suspense novel”, I expected to enjoy the story.
In the days before Christmas, private investigator Regan rushes across country to be with her injured mystery-writer mother, just in time for her father and a young mother to be kidnapped. Regan and new acquaintance amateur-detective Alvirah helped the police look for the kidnappers and rescue the victims.
Regan and Alviarah are characters in their own series of books, one written by Mary and one by Carol.
Let me start by stating I love reading crime stories and some of my favourite authors are Jo Nesbo, Kathy Reichs, Jonathon Kellerman, Ian Rankin, and J D Robb, plus Aussie authors Michael Robotham, Jane Harper and Kerry Greenwood, so I anticipated a good read blending crime and Christmas!
There are light crime stories and others are more complex and deeper, and Deck the Halls certainly falls into the lighter category.
I found the writing to be very basic and superficial, with obvious points explained as if the reader is not very bright. It did improve as the book progressed so either I got used to it or the writers collaborated better as they went along.
It is suitable for teens as there is no real violence or frightening elements, nor other adult content. And the simplicity of the story would work better for younger teens, perhaps, than adults like me.
The Christmas element of the book was low – just the proximity to Christmas Day and one character working as Santa in a department store.
Apparently there are some other Christmas books written by this duo but I won’t be rushing out to find any of them.
So I did finish the book and didn’t hate it, but I can’t truly recommend it for serious crime readers or those who appreciate good writing.