Julie Parsons Mary, Mary: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780061030499

Mary, Mary: A Novel

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9780061030499: Mary, Mary: A Novel

This brilliant and already acclaimed debut by Julie Parsons is a spine-tingling psychological thriller about an intelligent woman -- a psychiartist -- who is intent on taking revenge on the sadistic killer who murdered her teenage daughter.

Late on a hot Dublin night, Dr. Margaret Mitchell, a widow in her mid-forties, phones the police with a sense of dread and foreboding. Her daughter, Mary, went out with some friends twenty-four hours ago. She has not come home.

Two days later, Margaret receives an anonymous phone call. Having worked in an institution for the criminally insane, Margaret is all too familiar with what she hears on the other end of the line and it fills her with terror.

A week later an old man walking his dog beside a canal finds the body of Mary Mitchell half-submerged in the water. She has been raped, tortured, and beaten to death.

Inspector Michael McLoughlin, who has a reputation as a drinker and a womanizer, is assigned to the case. Although he was once a successful detective, there are now doubts about his stability. McLoughlin is taken with Margaret's beauty and the force of her personality; he becomes obsessed and watches her constantly.

The killer, meanwhile, has transferred his desire to damage and kill to Margaret, who finds herself drawn to the man who ruined her life and destroyed her daughter's.

Mary, Mary is a heart-stopping, moving, and emotionally satisfying novel from an extraordinary talent. Julie Parsons weaves a gripping portrait of a killer's mind and a mother's need for justice that will keep you reading straight through to the surprising and shocking conclusion.

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Review:

This first thriller by Irish television talk-show producer Julie Parsons became an overnight success in England and a high-ticket purchase by its American publisher. Here's why: it combines excellent writing with a strong, very moving story and a gimmick as big and shiny as the Ritz at its center.

Dr. Margaret Mitchell, who left Ireland for New Zealand when her daughter was just an infant, now returns 20 years later as a successful psychiatrist and expert on women's mental health. Shortly after she arrives in Dublin to care for her dying mother, Margaret's daughter, Mary, is brutally tortured and murdered.

I understand, thought Margaret, what happens when the heart stops pumping oxygen through the body, pushing its sweetness into every blood vessel. But I don't understand the loss of being, the negation of existence. It must be the reason why so many people believe in an afterlife. To make sense of the essentially meaningless. I know it in an abstract way, but I can't accept it. All I have is the knowledge that I will never see Mary again, that she has been taken from me and I will have to live with that. Until I, too, die.
Full of rage and sadness, Dr. Mitchell watches as a once-brilliant, now-boozy cop catches Mary's killer but botches the case against him and raises the possibility of his serving just a short sentence. Enter the gimmick--which we won't spoil except to point out that anyone who doesn't have suspicions about Mary's father hasn't been paying attention. Parsons makes both Margaret and Mary memorable characters who throb with vitality. The final, hot-button issue is that of retribution, and Meryl Streep is no doubt working on her Irish-New Zealand accent as we speak, for the inevitable film. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand and has lived most of her adult life in Ireland. She has had a varied career - artist's model, typesetter, freelance journalist, radio and television producer - before turning to writing fiction. She lives outside Dublin, by the sea, with her family.

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