Nighttime Is My Time Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Nighttime Is My Time

Jean Sheridan is going to a twenty year reunion of alumni at Stonecroft Academy. Here, she is to be honored along with six other members of her class. There is a sadness looming over the honorees as they have a memorial service for an old friend and classmate that drowned in her pool days before. Allison made the fifth woman in the class to die a mysterious death.
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"The Owl" is at this reunion as an honoree and a killer. He has murdered all those women and more, and leaves a small pewter owl near the scene. He was always a dopey, nerd of a kid who was picked on and laughed at during his school years. He intends to exact his revenge. He started twenty years ago and his grande finale will be finished by reunions end. He toys with Jean, though, by threatening the daughter she gave up years ago that no one is supposed to know about.

He kidnaps Laura, an honoree, and makes it seem as though she is the one threatening Jean's daughter. He uses this ploy to lure Jean to her intended death. It is here, all the secrets of the past are revealed as well as a kink in "The Owl's" plans. He wants to kill Laura and Jean before he is exposed.
The review of this Book prepared by Tracey Ray

When Jean Sheridan receives an invitation to her high school reunion at Stonecroft Academy, she is less than enthusiastic about attending. A good friend of hers was recently found dead in her swimming pool but upon hearing about a memorial service at the reunion for her, she decides to go. When she gets there she finds that all but two people from her group of friends, including her, has mysteriously died in the last twenty years. Then when the other woman disappears without a trace, Jean starts to wonder if she is next. But who could be doing this? Jean must do some investigating of her own to find out who is behind these murders. The only clue she has is an owl pin found at the crime scene's and that leaves her with five suspects. While fighting for her life Jean goes on a terror-filled investigation to find the killer from her class.
The review of this Book prepared by Amy Blaine

Jean Sheridan, a teacher, sets out to her hometown for her twenty year high school reunion, where she is to be honored along with six other members of her class. One woman in the group to be honored, Alison Kendall, died just a few days before. Drowned in her pool during an early morning swim, the fifth woman in her class whose life has come to a sudden end.

Also adding to Jean's sense of unease is a fax referring to her daughter, Lily, a daughter she had given up for adoption twenty years ago, the offspring a West point cadet killed in an acident. Struggling to conceal her fears, Jean see the other honorees including Laura Wilcox, who soon disappears. Jean is introduced to Sam Deegan, a detective obsessed for years by the unsolved murder of a young woman and who may hold the key into the identity of the source of threat to her daughter.
The review of this Book prepared by Greg Bryant

Simon & Schuster, Apr 2004, 25.95, 370 pp.
ISBN: 074320607X

She would prefer to ignore the invitation to return to Stonecraft Academy for her class' twentieth anniversary reunion, but renowned historian Jean Sheridan is one of six recipients being honored at the gala for their accomplishments. Still the award would not have propelled Jean to return to the academy, but posthumously honoring another winner is the reason for the author to drive to Croton on the Hudson to attend the festivities.

At the hotel, Jean receives a fax that follows up on a package sent to her that contains evidence that someone kidnapped her teenage child, who she gave up for adoption at birth. She is further stunned when attendee Laura Wilcox followed by Robby Brent vanish. When Laura calls to confess that she sent the fax and wants to meet Jean, the historian has no idea the danger she will be stepping into. The serial killer the Owl has made a home at Stonecraft Academy and Jean would be a prize addition to the victim list of at least five from the class of two decades ago.

Though the plot seems anemic in spite of a serial killer and the abduction, the suspense is at its usual stratospheric levels as expected from a Mary Higgins Clark thriller. The story line focuses on the Professor dealing with two crises that interconnect with her. Readers will appreciate the heroism of the reluctant female champion as she grits her teeth and goes forth to do battle against an unknown enemy who might be abetted by a peer betrayer. Ms. Clark shows why she is amongst the top echelon of psychological suspense authors with this taut tale.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Nighttime Is My Time

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 27.5%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 12.5% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for missing person Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Mary Higgins Clark Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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