Three days before Christmas, Alvirah Meehan, the famous lottery winner and amateur detective, meets Regan Reilly in a New Jersey dentist's office. Regan is there in search of her busy father, who is scheduled for a routine visit. However, it is soon apparent that Luke Reilly is not going to keep his appointment.
But Regan's worry turns to panic when a call comes through on her cell phone telling her that her father and his driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are being held for $1,000,000 ransom. She turns to Alvirah, because although Regan is a licensed detective in L.A., it is Alvirah who has the valuable contacts amongst the ranks of New York's law enforcement community.
As Regan and Alvirah desperately try to meet the harsh demands and tough deadline of the kidnappers, Luke and Rosita, held captive on a decrepit houseboat moored in the Hudson River, are becoming increasingly terrified. And to make matters worse, a winter storm is gathering, putting their lives in even greater danger....
DECK THE HALLS is filled with twists and turns, intrigue and danger, as well as a hearty dose of holiday cheer. Mary and Carol Higgins Clark have created a breathless, yet heart-warming story of suspense in their first collaboration - a Christmas classic for many holiday seasons to come.
On her own, each Clark has written reliably entertaining mystery/thrillers that occasionally exhibit storytelling magic. The authors' first collaborationDwhich also sees a collaboration by their respective publishers, as well as the teaming of two of their best-known sleuthsDis only middling, however, though it will please their many fans. Three days before Christmas, Luke Reilly, who owns a string of funeral homes, and his young female driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are kidnapped for ransom. Luke is the husband of Nora Regan Reilly, a bestselling mystery writer based somewhat on Mary Higgins Clark; both are parents to Regan Reilly, Carol Higgins Clark's series detective (Twanged, etc.). Regan gets on the case at once, but she doesn't make much headway until she pairs up with Alvirah Meegan, the cleaning woman who turned private eye after winning a $40-million lottery in Mary Higgins Clark's Weep No More My Lady. (Here, Regan and Alvirah make each other's acquaintance at a dentist's office.) Meanwhile, Luke and Rosita remain chained on a small boat offshore from New Jersey as their two bumbling kidnappers plan, execute and bobble a ransom run. The boat starts to sink. Will Luke and Rosita drown? There's probably not a reader alive who thinks they will, and it'll surprise no one when Regan and Alvirah trip over clues as big as Christmas trees to save the day. But if the novel generates little suspense, it does go down like roasted chestnuts, and fans will greatly enjoy the pairing of two favorite detectivesDand two popular writersDin a lightweight but amiably lighthearted Christmas ornament of a book.