The Second Time Around Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Second Time Around

In this richly detailed story by Mary Higgins Clark, Nicholas Spencer, who is head of a medical research company, disappears. After developing an anticancer vaccine, Nicholas suddenly disappears. His private plane crashes en route to Puerto Rico, but his body is not found.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Earle results of the vaccine seemed highly promising. Yet, coinciding with Nicholas Spencer's disappearance comes news that the FDA is denying approval. Then follows the shocking revelation that Spencer had looted Gen-stone huge sums of money-including the lifetime savings of people who had risked every cent they had.

Marcia, "Carley DeCarlo, the thirty-two-year-old columnist for the Wall Street Weekly, is assigned to cover this story. Carley is the stepsister of Spencer's wife, Lynn, an aggressive PR woman whome she dislikes and distrusts.

The day after news of her husband's disappearance rocks the financial and medical world. Lynn attends a meeting of the stockholders of Gen-stone, flaunting expensive clothing and jewelry. Accuseds of having participated in the scam, she appears indifferent to the anger and despair of the people attending, among them a man whose child has cancer and who is now about to lose his home. That night she narrowly escapes death when her mansion in Bedford, New York is set on fire. She turns to Carley, begging her to use her investigative skills to prove that she was not her husband's accomplice.

As Carley proceeds with her investigation, she is confronted by seemingly impenetrable questions. What she doesn't know yet, is that there is someone hiding out there killing people to get revenge for the loss of his wife. And as the facts begin to unfold, she becomes this man's next target.
The review of this Book prepared by Boppy

Simon & Schuster, April 2003, 26.00, 302 pp.
ISBN 0743206061

Everyone who met the charismatic Nicholas Spencer felt drawn to him so it isn't too hard for him to get people to invest in his medical research company Gen-stone. He was very excited that his company had developed a vaccine that would prevent cancer or cure people who had it. A few weeks before it was supposed to be given to the FDA for testing, Nick's plane crashed and though his body wasn't found, he was presumed dead.

A couple of weeks later, it is discovered that funds are missing from the company and Gen-stone's test results prove that the miracle elixir doesn't work. Most people believe that Nick was a con artist who defrauded innocent folks and that his wife, Lynn was part of the scam. Lynn asks her stepsister Carley, a financial reporter for the Wall Street Weekly, to help her clear her name. Coincidentally, Carley is assigned to do a profile of Nicholas Spencer. The deeper she gets into her investigation the more she's convinced that Nick was just as much a victim as the company's stockholders, a theory that could get her killed if she isn't careful.

Mary Higgins Clark can always be counted on to write an entertaining thriller and she doesn't disappoint her fans in her latest work THE SECOND TIME AROUND. The protagonist is likable and her actions make sense within the context of the plot. The novel moves along briskly so that readers never lose interest in the tale. The only quibble with the novel is that the stalker-subplot feels like filler so ignore it and enjoy a relatively taut and exciting thriller.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Second Time Around

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 45%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 15% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50%    -   60% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American    -   Russian


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Second Time Around

Mary Higgins Clark Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian