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Authors: Mary Jane Clark

Close to You

BOOK: Close to You
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“Smooth is the word for this expert thriller . . . moving along effortlessly and unhurriedly, acquiring characters and subplots as it goes, always focusing on the climax the reader knows will come when the killer finally makes his move . . . Clark's tale delivers the goods . . . Clark's depiction of the stalkers who plague celebrities disturbs and convinces, and her characters come alive on the page: criminal, sick, genuinely evil, or simply flawed and very human.”

Publishers Weekly


“An eerie story [with] a satisfying ending . . . provides intriguing insight into the inner workings of a network news station and the many personalities therein.”

Providence Journal


“A frightening—and firsthand—look at the darker side of celebrity . . . gives readers an informed look at the media industry from the other side of their televisions.”

Sun Herald
(Colusa, CA)


“Close to You
is the kind of twisted tale those of us in the ‘biz' hope we'll never encounter, but does it ever make for some nerve-racking reading!”

—Bobbi Harley, CBS News Correspondent




“Let Me Whisper in Your Ear
kept me guessing right up until the final jolting betrayal. Here's a suspense-charged, absorbing tale of treachery, troubled psyches, and flawed relationships that leaps beyond romantic suspense into the heart's darkest realms.”

—Perri O'Shaughnessy, author of
Move to Strike


“Mary Jane Clark keeps the reader on the edge, of [his or her] seat in LET ME WHISPER IN YOUR EAR. The combination of mind-dazzling suspense and nostalgia for the glory days of Palisades Park is a heady one. Lovers of great romantic mysteries will surely want to read the other novels of Ms. Clark.”

—Romantic Times


“Clark treats readers to a fascinating look into the behind-the-scenes world of broadcasting plus cover-to-cover suspense, as this tale snakes through suspect after suspect.
Let Me Whisper in Your Ear
hits the ground running, and from there it is a fast-paced coaster ride that will keep you guessing.”

—The Mystery Review




“Clark, who in real life is a writer and producer for CBS News, understands how to hang on to her audience. Her characters are the sorts with whom many readers identify. Her first book, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?, had pluses. It was well-told; its characters and plot were compelling. But PROMISE is stronger still . . . it is a fun read with some nifty twists.”

—Katy Kelly,
USA Today

“Nail-biting suspense, two budding romances, and the heartwarming tale of an elderly Russian emigré make DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL? a top-notch read. The story grabbed me from page one and kept me mesmerized until the surprising finale. Clark, a producer and writer for CBS News, knows the industry well and her expertise adds realism to her tale.”

—Toby Brombeig,
Romantic Times


“The suspense never flags, and the killer's identity remains a secret long into the tale . . . for those who can't get enough of the competitively backbiting world of network news, this novel offers entertaining verisimilitude.”

Publishers Weekly


“Fast, fun, and informative, DO YOU PROMISE NOT TO TELL? is a winner from the start. I couldn't put it down!”

—Christopher Reich, author of
Numbered Account


“In news as in life, luck often counts as much as hard work Clark captures the spirit of an enterprising reporter who relies on both to ‘get' the story of her life.”

—Deborah Norville, anchor,
Inside Edition




“Clark . . . spins a tightly knit whodunit with engaging characters and a suspenseful plot.”

—Publishers Weekly



“The secret is out: Mary Jane Clark is one of the most exciting novelists in America today. Her debut thriller takes us on a suspense-filled insider's tour of the corridors of power in politics and journalism where everybody's got a secret, everybody wants a scoop—and now somebody has murder in mind. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET? is an unabashed edge-of-the-seat, they-don't-write-'em-like-that-anymore, unplug-the-phone-and-disconnect-the TV page-turning stunner!”

—Dan Rather


“A polished page-turner with a smart, appealing TV anchorwoman as the main character. Twists, turns, and a terrific plot. I loved it.”

—Mary Higgins Clark


“Do You Want to Know a Secret?
is a brilliantly structured thriller. The secrets and surprises just keep coming and make perfect sense in the TV media world that Mary Jane Clark has absolutely nailed.”

—Janet Evanovich, author of
Hard Eight


“Secrets . . . ambition . . . intrigue . . . Mary Jane Clark knowingly seduces you in this intensely suspenseful behind-the-media-scenes thriller.”

—Joan Rivers






Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Do You Promise Not to Tell?

Let Me Whisper in Your Ear

Close to You

Nobody Knows

Nowhere to Run

Hide Yourself Away

Dancing in the Dark





St. Martin's Paperbacks

NOTE: If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”




This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.




Copyright © 2001 by Mary Jane Clark.

Excerpt from
Dancing in the Dark
copyright © 2005 by Mary Jane Clark.

Excerpt from
Hide Yourself Away
copyright © 2004 by Mary Jane Clark.


Cover photograph by Herman Estevez.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2001031815


ISBN: 0-312-98196-1

EAN: 80312-98196-9


Printed in the United States of America


St. Martin's Press hardcover edition / September 2001

St. Martin's Paperbacks edition / August 2002


St. Martin's Paperbacks are published by St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.


10 9 8 7 6

For David
my loving and loveable son,
all those who struggle with Fragile X Syndrome . . .
with great hopes and fervent prayers for a cure


Over the years, working behind the scenes, producing too many news stories to count, I have often wondered what it would be like to be “on-air” talent, standing or sitting in front of the television camera. To be sure, it looks glamorous. Millions of eyes are fixed on the correspondent's face as she delivers the latest news. But as the reporter gazes into the dark camera lens and talks to the unseen audience, she has no idea just who is watching her. What could be going on in some skewed mind out there as she “exposes” herself night after night?

The premise chilled me.

Reporters I asked said they tried not to think about unstable people watching them. They couldn't do their jobs, they said, if they spent their time worrying about “the nuts.” They claimed they pushed from their minds the knowledge there were viewers who became fixated on them. Yet, without exception, each had experiences with obsessive fans, some in very unlikely places, and the bizarre lengths to which those “fans” were willing to go. Some stalkers were sick, some just plain evil, but all wanted to get too close.

Newswomen and friends Liz Flock, Bobbi Harley and Elizabeth Kaledin shared some stories with me that left me
slack-jawed. I thank them for the seeds that germinated into this book.

My sincere thanks to Stan Romaine, Director of CBS Corporate Security, for taking the time to answer my questions about what a television network does to protect its threatened personnel and for being extremely generous in sharing his expertise on what steps are taken to catch a stalker. Stan recounted some mesmerizing stories, but the twinkle in his eye left me feeling that he just scratched the surface. He knows much more than he can tell. But I'm awefully glad he was willing to give me his tutorial.

Christina Weisberg, makeup artist and resplendent, delightful character herself, provided the raw makeup material and insight necessary to fashion the fictional character of Doris Brice. I could never do you justice, Christina, but I tried.

Joy Blake, once again, helped me with her knowledge of the intracacies of real estate transactions. Her professional expertise is appreciated, but her friendship is treasured.

By now, criminal attorney Joseph Hayden must be sick of the telephone calls asking what the legal ramifications of my character's actions are, but he has the good grace not to show it. Thank you, Joe.

Linda Karas gave the world's best tour of London in record time. She is one of the fastest thinkers I know and always has helpful ideas when I run problems past her. Together, we started out in the news business many moons ago and, over the years, Linda has been a source of strength, comfort and great fun.

Webmaster Colleen Kenny worked hard to get
up and running. This, in addition to always being there for me and my children. How fortunate I've been to have you, Col!

For a priest, Father Paul Holmes plays an excellent devil's advocate. As the deadline loomed closer, Paul made himself available to help in ways both great and small . . . from brainstorming sessions to research assistance to deciphering
my handwritten scrawl and entering those last minute changes into the master document. Father Holmes is the answer to this writer's prayers . . . a heaven-sent independent editor.

Eva's mommy, Laura Dail, is also, lucky for me, my tireless, devoted and enthusiastic agent. Time after time, Laura goes above and beyond the job description for a literary agent. I so appreciate that you run those extra miles, Laura. Thank you, too, for your insights on the Guatemalan people and help with the Spanish language.

The input of Jennifer Enderlin, my new editor, definitely made this a better book. Jen was instrumental in ratcheting up the suspense and I'm grateful for her focus on this project and for the special attention of Sally Richardson, Matthew Shear, John Murphy, and Linda McFall. The St. Martin's crew has been very good to me.

And finally, thank you to my patient family and dear friends. It is my great joy to be
Close to You.


BOOK: Close to You
12.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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