REVIEW: The Anastasia Syndrome by Mary Higgins Clark

Originally published 2015-08-19: The Anastasia Syndrome and Other Stories by Mary Higgins Clark | Book Review Wednesday

Despite my love for suspense, thrillers, and mystery stories, I have never read anything by Mary Higgins Clark before. But when I saw The Anastasia Syndrome and Other Stories at a library book sale, for some reason, I knew I should buy it. And I’m so glad that I did.

cover of mystery anthology The Anastasia Syndrome and Other Stories by Mary Higgins Clark


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.

My Rating

The book was published in 1989, when I was only five years old and had just learned to read. Surprisingly, though, it still holds up, even with all the technological changes that have exploded in the world since it was written.

It starts with The Anastasia Syndrome, a short novel about a woman who falls victim to an overzealous psychiatrist’s experiments in drug-induced memory retrieval. I was intrigued immediately because the main character is a writer, but Clark kept me on the edge of my seat by giving readers an intimate look into the mind of someone who may be slowly going insane.

After The Anastasia Syndrome come the punchy, dramatic short stories that I gobbled up. Of the four stories, Lucky Day and The Lost Angel were my favorites, but Terror Stalks the Class Reunion and Double Vision were both great stories full of suspense.

Overall, I loved this book, and give it a four of five stars. I highly recommend it, and even though I’m late in the game, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of Clark’s books!


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