No wonder this suspenser carries a recommendation from Mary Higgins Clark. For one thing, the author is the bestselling blurber’s ex-daughter-in-law; for another, her first novel follows her blurber’s formula so closely that it might have been based on stolen blueprints. Bill Kendall, KEY Evening Headlines anchor, is dead from a massive overdose of Prozac. His ex-wife Louisa, his retarded son William, his longtime assistant Jean White, his executive producer Range Bullock, and rising KEY to America co-anchor Eliza Blake, Clark’s demure heroine, are grief-stricken; and so, for reasons best kept private, is Joy Wingard, the childless wife of hard-driving Presidential hopeful Sen. Haines Wingard. But other mourners are having a hard time keeping the grins off their faces. Bill’s smilingly incompetent stand-in Pete Carlson is more than ready to leap from KEY News president Yelena Gregory’s bed into Bill’s old job. Nate Heller, Haines Wingard’s campaign manager, sees Bill’s death as just one more opportunity to flex his manipulative muscles. And Superior Court Judge Dennis Quinn, whom Bill had been squeezing of some ill-gotten gains for years, feels that his life is finally starting over. As Clark spins out the sinister yet wholesome intrigue provoked by Bill’s death, fans of her illustrious namesake will recognize such Mary Higgins Clark trademarks as the menaced young professional mother, the endless parade of nefarious suspects, the toothlessly mysterious lowlife, the genteel Irish Catholic backgrounds, the scrupulously unaligned politicians, the chapters short as a hiccup, and the general sense that the world revolves around Bergen County, New Jersey. Clark’s additions—higher Washington stakes, juicier secrets and scandals, discreet dollops of indiscreet sex—won’t offend even her closest relatives. Name-brand Suspense Lite that imperils the heroine without disturbing the gentle reader.