Do You Want to Know a Secret?

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

If ever a perfect mystery existed, Mary Jane Clark’s debut novel Do You Want to Know a Secret? is it. Superbly plotted, intertwining multiple elements of suspense with behind-the-scenes knowledge of the cut-throat television broadcast industry, this edge-of-your-seat thriller leaves the reader guessing until the end.

Eliza Blake is the epitome of the successful young career woman whose rising star shines brightly on the horizon. Her exciting job as a television news reporter requires that she leave her four-year-old daughter with a housekeeper, but it gives her the financial security she needs as a widowed, single mother. When two of her friends die under suspicious circumstances, Eliza wonders about the events that linked their lives with hers. The success-crazed colleague who takes over the anchor position on the network news has a dangerous hidden agenda that not even Eliza can fathom until it is nearly too late. Other characters whose actions impact on the heroine’s life include a charismatic young political candidate and his campaign manager, inextricably linked because they cheated together on the bar exam; the presidential candidate’s wife, whose unfaithfulness brought exposure to AIDS before her lover died; and an embezzler whose aspirations to a federal judgeship are threatened by a blackmailer.

This page-turner presents the ultimate conundrum for the reader: how to linger over a good read while racing head-over-heels to find out what happens in the end.