Summer Reading Log '98

A Cry In the Night
Mary Higgins Clark
copyright 1982 by Mary Higgins Clark
196 pages

Ryan Sullivan
This story is about Jenny MacPartland and the troubles she had as a mother (she has two children named Beth and Tina.), wife, and working woman. It started in New York where she lived. She worked in an art studio where they had exhibits of new artists. One of the exhibits was of a new author named Erich Krueger and his painting "Memory of Caroline", a painting of his mother, whom Jenny looked unthinkably alike. She met him at the exhibit and they fell in love.
Jenny was divorced and her ex-husband, Kevin, was always around asking for money. Erich didn't like his and he wanted to be with Jenny so he asked her to marry him and brought her and the kids to his house in Minnesota. It turned out that he actually had a mansion and an immense farm.
There were other people that lived and/or worked on the farm. Their names/relation to Erich are: Joe- a farmhand, Clyde-works in the farm office, Mark-a veterinarian, and Rooney-Clyde's wife. At first Jenny liked being there but Erich became very possessive of her and did not let her go places. Then one day her ex-husband Kevin called and asked if he could meet Jenny somewhere. She went to the restaurant and at the end of the meeting Kevin kissed her. Some towns-people saw this and gossiped about her. Then a while later Kevin was missing. They asked some people that he worked with and found out he had gotten a call and was supposed to go to Jenny's house. He was missing for a while then they found him dead because he had driven his car over a cliff into a river. Jenny became the main suspect and witnesses said they saw her get in the car.
She started having terrible nightmares and was very scared. Then she found out she was pregnant. They eventually dropped the case with Kevin and she went on to have her baby. Having the child was the only thing that made her feel good because she was finally going to give Erich the son he wanted. When the baby was born it had red hair like Kevin so when they asked for it's name Erich said his name was Kevin. Jenny felt that Erich had not excepted the baby as his. The baby was very sick then one day when jenny went in his room he was dead. When all their friends were there mourning with them her daughter said how the lady in the picture, pointing to "Memory of Caroline", covered the baby's mouth and she covered her dolls face the same way they said the baby was strangled. Everyone then thought that Jenny had killed the baby because she looks so much like Caroline.
After that Erich kidnaps Beth and Tina because he found out that Jenny was going to leave him. He tells her she won't get the children back until she writes a letter saying that she confesses to all the things she is accused of even though she is innocent. When he is gone Jenny goes into the woods to find the cabin where he always paints and finds the walls covered with paintings. All of them had the signature of his mother! She then went to the loft of the cabin and found all the pictures he had painted. They were of him killing his mother, Rooney's daughter Arden (who they presumed ran away), the baby Kevin, and Beth and Tina. They got Erich to come back to the house. Jenny sat in the same position as Caroline had in the painting. This drew Erich out of the woods where he was spying on her from. He began shooting at her with a rifle. He had her trapped in the barn, but Rooney came and shot him in the back with a shotgun, killing him just in time. They end up finding the girls and everything turns out okay.
Title Significance
The title A Cry In the Night is very meaningful to the book in the way that it relates to the story. There are many situations where characters actually "cried in