Mary Higgins Clark, one of the world’ most popular writers and long-reigning Queen of Suspense has died, aged 92, her publisher Simon & Schuster announced last night.
Mary Higgins Clark started writing in her late 30s, a widow with five children, and she soon became a bestseller, success she enjoyed over the entire second half of her life. She wrote more than fifty well know books, with sales topping 100 million copies, we regularly saw her name in the bestselling books of the year, and she was easily one of the most popular writers of the 20th century.
Certainly in the last century novels were not known for featuring strong female characters, but Mary Higgins Clark broke the mould and specialised in writing about women overcoming danger, such as the young prosecutor in Just Take My Heart, or the mother of two whose husband is a madman in A Cry in the Night.
About her own work, Mary Higgins Clark said in 2013 that the best compliment she could receive was to hear ‘I read your darned book ’til 4 in the morning, and now I’m tired.’
Although she came to writing after she had had a family, she always loved to write completing her first poem aged six. In Grade school she wrote a story so good, her teacher read it to the class and by high school was was trying to sell stories to True Confessions magazine.
In the end Mary Clark would write well into her 90s, and despite starting out as a struggling young widow, more than compensated for her struggles, acquiring several homes. She was friends with a circle of authors, including Lee Child and Nelson DeMille, who she regularly met for diner in Manhattan and with whom she will surely be sorely missed.
But it’s her readers who will surely miss her the most. Thankfully, life all authors Mary Higgins Clark will live on through her books and the characters she created.