Considered by many to be the queen of suspense, Mary Higgins Clark has written more than 30 suspense and mystery novels over the course of her career. All of these novels have been enjoyed by fans of Higgins Clark’s compelling writing style and gripping plots, but some are a cut above the rest. If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to suspense novels, I’ve got you covered.
Below, I’ve handpicked the 10 best Mary Higgins Clark suspense novels that I think you should read if you haven’t already!
The 10 Best Mary Higgins Clark Suspense Novels
Here are the top 10 Mary Higgins Clark suspense novels you should add to your bookshelf for thrilling late-night reading.
A Cry In The Night is not only gripping and suspenseful but also one of the most emotional novels by Mary Higgins Clark, so it’s certain to keep you invested until the end.
The story centers around the protagonist, Jenny, who meets Erich, a charismatic painter, at the art gallery where she is employed.
Everything seems perfect, but once Jenny and her young daughters get to Erich’s country mansion, she realizes that her husband is not the person she thought she was.
Now, Jenny must find a way to protect herself and her children as her marriage becomes more sinister by the day.
- Important messages are imparted throughout the narrative
- A creepy and sinister atmosphere creates unrelenting suspense
- Unexpected and well-done ending
- Some readers may struggle to relate to the protagonist
All Around The Town is a suspenseful tale of sisterhood, loyalty, and secrets.
With psychological themes surrounding the subconscious mind and memory, this book will keep you guessing until the final scene.
In this novel, Laurie Kenyon, a 21-year-old English student, is accused of murder after her professor is found deceased with her fingerprints at the scene of the crime.
Laurie’s sister, Sarah, is an attorney and determined to prove her sister’s innocence, but there’s one problem: Laurie can’t remember anything that happened that night.
The sisters will have to face past traumas as they delve deep into Laurie’s subconscious to uncover the truth.
- Fully developed and relatable characters
- Interesting and well-researched psychological themes
- Last-minute plot twists will keep the reader engaged
- Despite being suspenseful, a few of the plot points are predictable
On The Street Where You Live is a compelling and masterfully-written mystery about two murders committed over a century apart.
While it might seem impossible for these crimes to be linked, Emily Graham, a successful criminal defense attorney, uncovers connections between the two when she moves into a Victorian house owned by her family during the 1800s.
As renovations of the house bring more secrets to the surface, Emily realizes that she could be the next victim, but who is responsible, and what will be their next deadly move?
- The juxtaposition between the seaside setting and terrifying events creates intrigue
- The complex web of suspects and victims
- Feels impossible to figure out the mystery until the end
- Some readers may find the long character list hard to keep up with
Where Are The Children? is the first standalone suspense novel written by Mary Higgins Clark, and fans of the author still consider this one of her best and most iconic works.
The narrative of this novel focuses on Nancy Harmon, who has had a traumatic past. Both of her children died young, her first marriage ended in heartbreak, and she has had to change her name to escape charges.
Now remarried and with two children, Nancy thinks she is on the path to healing until her children disappear under mysterious circumstances…
- Quick and easy to read
- A strong and relatable protagonist
- Enough clues to keep you guessing without giving the story away
- Some disturbing themes throughout
In Loves Music, Loves to Dance, Darcy Scott and Erin Kelley are excited to move to the city and begin their careers in jewelry design and interior decoration.
However, after Erin helps a mutual friend with his TV production research, she goes missing.
Once Erin’s body is found, with one foot in a dancing shoe, her killer makes it known that she will not be his final victim, and that Darcy is next on his list.
- An interesting and compelling premise
- Lots of unexpected twists and turns
- Surprising final revelation
- Too much description in places slows down the pace
Mary Higgins Clark co-wrote The Cinderella Murder with Alafair Burke.
This thrilling suspense novel centers around Laurie Moran, who has created a successful reality drama exploring unsolved crimes.
When a young UCLA student is found dead miles from her car, Laurie sees the case as the perfect next episode.
After all, with a boyfriend who refuses to answer questions, a director whose home the student was meant to attend that day for an audition, a strange relationship with her science professor, and an unconventional church, there are plenty of avenues to investigate.
- Interesting and unique characters
- Lots of redirection to keep readers guessing
- Satisfying final reveal and ending
- Part of a series that readers may prefer to read in order
In We’ll Meet Again, Gary Lasch, a doctor from Connecticut, is killed in his home, and his wife is discovered at the scene of the crime.
The housekeeper reveals details of the couple’s marital issues which lead to his wife, Molly, being charged with her husband’s murder.
Years later, Molly is released from prison and maintains her innocence, convincing a reporter friend, Fran, to investigate further. But what Fran discovers may put her in danger if the real killer is still at large.
- Not many characters, so the plot is easy to follow
- Interesting and fleshed-out female characters
- The surprising twist at the end
- Slow-paced in some parts of the novel
The Second Time Around is a compelling suspense novel with a medical theme.
The novel begins with the mysterious disappearance of the head of a company that was developing a vaccine for cancer patients.
Marcia DeCarlo, a reporter, and sister of the missing man’s wife are given the case.
Although DeCarlo does not think highly of the man in question and suspects him of embezzling and absconding, she soon discovers that there is more to the story than meets the eye.
The novel follows DeCarlo’s race against time to uncover the truth ahead of the conspirators.
- Easy reading experience
- Clever and suspense-building plot twists
- Impactful commentary on greed in the corporate world
- Slower-paced compared to many of her other novels
A Stranger Is Watching tells the story of Ronald Thompson, who has been put on death row for the murder of Nina Peterson, which he didn’t commit.
As Ronald’s date of execution approaches, the victim’s surviving friends and family members try to work through their grief – but little do they know that the real killer is close by, plotting their next move.
Will the truth come to light in time to save Ronald and the Peterson family, or will the real culprit strike again?
- Fast-paced and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat
- Detailed writing paints a vivid picture
- The emotional ending is worth the build-up
- The plot can be slightly confusing since it involves many characters and time periods
The Cradle Will Fall has been described as both harrowing and suspenseful. It begins with a road accident that sends Katie DeMaoi, a prosecutor, to the hospital.
During her hospital stay, she believes she has witnessed the cover-up of a murder, but can’t be sure due to the medication.
When Katie goes back to work, she is asked to investigate a supposedly self-inflicted death.
Before the medical examiner can tell Katie his own suspicions, however, she sets off for a medical appointment in the operating room of the suspected killer…
- Shocking themes create a high-stakes mystery plot
- The unreliability of the main character’s narration adds to the suspense
- A great read for those in (or interested in) the medical field
- Deals with infertility, which some readers may find upsetting
From dubious doctors and relentless reporters to fraught families and false felons, Mary Higgins Clark suspense novels cover a wide variety of themes and feature plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Choosing The Best Mary Higgins Clark Suspense Novels
Choose Themes That Pique Your Interest
If you want to be gripped throughout your chosen suspense novel by Mary Higgins Clark, read synopses and prioritize novels with themes that are likely to keep you engaged.
If medical themes fascinate you, for example, Higgins Clark has written many suspense novels involving doctors and medical companies.
Avoid Storylines You Have Read Before
If a book synopsis sounds familiar or seems too predictable to you, it’s best to choose something else.
When it comes to suspense novels, you don’t want to figure out the ending too soon or feel like you’ve read this story before.
Read Online Reviews
Online reviews will give you an idea of what other readers liked and disliked, which may help you to decide which Mary Higgins Clark suspense novels you’d like to read.
To choose the best Mary Higgins Clark suspense novel for your bookshelf, be sure to prioritize themes and settings that interest you and steer clear of plot lines that seem too familiar. You can read reviews online to help you decide.
Mary Higgins Clark is undoubtedly one of the best suspense novel authors of the 20th and 21st centuries.
I hope you enjoy these 10 thrilling book recommendations from this incredible writer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Read Mary Higgins Clark Books In Order?
You don’t need to read suspense novels by Mary Higgins Clark in order.
While some Mary Higgins Clark novels are part of a series and should be read in order for clarity, Higgins Clark has also written over 30 standalone mystery novels that can be read in any order you want.
Which Mary Higgins Clark Novel Should I Read First?
This is entirely up to you, but if you’ve never read any novels by Mary Higgins Clark, I suggest starting with her first novel, Where Are The Children?
This novel gives a good introduction to Mary Higgins Clark’s writing style and is considered one of her most iconic books.
What Age Group Are Mary Higgins Clark Novels Suitable For?
Mary Higgins Clark has made a deliberate choice not to have explicit scenes in her novels.
However, since many of her suspense novels deal with death and crime, her novels are still more appropriate for adults than children and adolescents.