In the short novel The Anastasia Syndrome, prominent historical writer Judith Chase is living in London and preparing for her marriage to Sir Stephen Hallett, expected to become England's next Prime Minister. Orphaned during World War II, Judith wants to trace her origins. In this quest, she goes to a renowned psychiatrist and becomes the victim of his experiments in regression. When a woman in a dark green cape sets off bombs in London, Sir Stephen and Judith are faced with an intangible, mysterious force threatening their very existence.
Obsessive love is the subject of Terror Stalks the Class Reunion; psychic contact with a dead twin sister is the only defense against a murder in Double Vision; Lucky Day, compared to O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, begins premonition of imminent danger; in The Lost Angel, mother follows her intuition in a harrowing search for her missing child.
The title piece in this smoothly written collection, the first from the bestselling mystery novelist, is a novella. Judith Chase is an American historian working in London and enjoying the courtship of Sir Stephen Hallett, due to become England's next prime minister. Beset by vague fears. Judith consults Dr. Patel, famous for treating Anna Anderson, who claimed she was Anastasia of the Russian royal family. ``Retrogressed'' by Patel, Judith finds herself in the 17th century, during the English Civil War and Restoration, (of the monarchy), reliving horrors that the author exploits in full measure. This and the four other stories, (three of them previously published in Woman's Day magazine,) amply demonstrate Clark's skill at maintaining suspense by creating nightmarish situations that lie just beneath the surface of ordinary life. Literary Guild alternate. (Nov.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Simon & Schuster
March 01, 1991
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Excerpt from The Anastasia Syndrome by Mary Higgins Clark
With a combination of reluctance and relief, Judith closed the book she had been studying and laid her pen on top of her thick notebook. She had been working steadily for hours, and her back felt cramped as she pushed back the old-fashioned swivel chair and got up from the desk. The day was overcast. Long ago, she had turned on the powerful desk light she had bought to replace the elaborately fringed Victorian lamp which belonged in this furnished rental flat in the Knightsbridge district of London.
Flexing her arms and shoulders, Judith walked over to the window and looked down at Montpelier Street. At three-thirty, the grayness of the January day was already merging with the approaching dusk and the slight shudder of the windowpanes testified that the wind was still brisk.
Unconsciously she smiled, remembering the letter she had received in answer to her inquiry about this place:
"Dear Judith Chase,
The flat will be available from 1 September until 1 May. Your references are most satisfactory, and it is a comfort to me to know that you will be engaged in writing your new book. The Civil War in seventeenth century England has proved marvelously fertile to romantic writers and it is gratifying that a serious historical writer of your stature has chosen it. The flat is unpretentious but spacious and I think you will find it adequate. The lift is frequently out of order; however, three flights of stairs are not too formidable, do you think? I personally climb them by choice."