Children’s book author Laura Reed lives an idyllic life with her husband Jimmy in his childhood hometown of Cape Christian, New Jersey; that is, until, an intruder breaks into her house and murders Jimmy in his sleep. When it becomes evident that Laura is set to inherit half a million in life insurance, the police and town residents look at Jimmy’s wife as having enough motive to commit murder, although they do not have enough evidence to arrest her at this time.
Especially hurt by the abrupt marriage is Laura and Jimmy’s close friend, Gary, who has been wheelchair bound since high school and who may have secretly coveted Jimmy’s wife. Furthermore, Dolores, Jimmy’s mother who has never really cared for her daughter-in-law, is less than pleased in with the knowledge of Laura’s quick remarriage.
When an unsuspecting witness comes forward with new information, police arrest Laura for murder in the first degree. Readers can only hope that Laura, who protests her innocence, will be pardoned before her life is irrevocably destroyed forever and Jimmy’s real killer walks free.
Secret Admirer is one of MacDonald’s earlier and stronger suspense novels. The author sets up so many suspects from the beginning and with a few twists along the way, readers will be left guessing until the very end. MacDonald is a supberb suspense writer, and I wish that she could get the readership she deserves. Mary Higgins Clark fans should really give MacDonald a chance, as they won’t be disappointed!