When Jenny MacPartland meets the man of her dreams while working in a New York art gallery, she's ecstatic. Painter Erich Krueger -- whose exquisite landscapes are making him a huge success -- is handsome, sensitive...and utterly in love with her. They marry quickly and Jenny plans a loving home on Erich's vast Minnesota farm. But lonely days and eerie nights strain her nerves to the breaking point and test her sanity. Caught in a whirlpool of shattering events, Jenny soon unearths a past more terrifying than she dares imagine...tragic secrets that threaten her marriage, her children, her life.
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Simon & Schuster
December 01, 1993
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Excerpt from A Cry In The Night by Mary Higgins Clark
Jenny began looking for the cabin at dawn. All night she had lain motionless in the massive four-poster bed, unable to sleep, the stillness of the house oppressive and clutching.
Even after weeks of knowing it would not come, her ears were still tuned for the baby's hungry cry. Her breasts still filled, ready to welcome the tiny, eager lips.
Finally she switched on the lamp at the bedside table. The room brightened and the leaded crystal bowl on the dresser top caught and reflected the light. The small cakes of pine soap that filled the bowl cast an eerie green tint on the antique silver mirror and brushes.
She got out of bed and began to dress, choosing the long underwear and nylon Windbreaker that she wore under her ski suit. She had turned on the radio at four o'clock. The weather report was unchanged for the area of Granite Place, Minnesota; the temperature was twelve degrees Fahrenheit. The winds were blowing at an average of twenty-five miles per hour. The windchill factor was twenty-four below zero.
It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. If she froze to death in the search she would try to find the cabin. Somewhere in that forest of maples and oaks and evergreens and Norwegian pines and overgrown brush it was there. In those sleepless hours she had devised a plan. Erich could walk three paces to her one. His naturally long stride had always made him unconsciously walk too fast for her. They used to joke about it. "Hey, wait up for a city girl," she'd protest.
Once he had forgotten his key when he went to the cabin and immediately returned to the house for it. He'd been gone forty minutes. That meant that for him the cabin was usually about a twenty-minute walk from the edge of the woods.
He had never taken her there. "Please understand, Jenny," he'd begged. "Every artist needs a place to be totally alone."
She had never tried to find it before. The help on the farm was absolutely forbidden to go into the woods. Even Clyde, who'd been the farm manager for 30 years, claimed he didn't know where the cabin was.
The heavy, crusted snow would have erased any path, but the snow also made it possible for her to try the search on cross-country skis. She'd have to be careful not to get lost. With the dense underbrush and her own miserable sense of direction, she could easily go around in circles.
Jenny had thought about that, and decided to take a compass, a hammer, tacks and pieces of cloth. She could nail the cloth to trees to help her find her way back.
Her ski suit was downstairs in the closet off the kitchen. While water boiled for coffee, she zipped it on. The coffee helped to bring her mind into focus. During the night she had considered going to Sheriff Gunderson. But he would surely refuse help and would simply stare at her with that familiar look of speculative disdain.
She would carry a thermos of coffee with her. She didn't have a key to the cabin, but she could break a window with the hammer.
Even though Elsa had not been in for over two weeks, the huge old house still glistened and shone with visible proof of her rigid standards of cleanliness. Her habit as she left was to tear off the current day from the daily calendar over the wall phone. Jenny had joked about that to Erich. "She not only cleans what was never dirty, she eliminates every weekday evening."