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Extended Audio Sample The Lost Years: A Novel Audiobook, by Mary Higgins Clark Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,120 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Higgins Clark Narrator: Jan Maxwell Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Alvirah and Willy Series Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9781442348356
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In her long career as America’s most beloved suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark’s The Lost Years is her most astonishing and dramatic novel to date. At its center is a discovery that, if authenticated, may be the most revered document in human history—“the holiest of the holy”—and certainly the most coveted and valuable object in the world.

Dr. Jonathan Lyons, a seventy-year-old biblical scholar, believes he has found the rarest of parchments—a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ. Stolen from the Vatican library in the fifteenth century, it was assumed to be lost forever. Under the promise of secrecy, Jonathan attempts to confirm his findings with several other biblical experts. But on the eve before his own murder, he confides to Father Aiden O’Brien, a family friend, that one of those whom he trusted most is determined to keep it from being returned to the Vatican.

The next evening Jonathan Lyons is found shot to death in his New Jersey home. His daughter, twenty-seven-year-old Mariah, finds her father’s body sprawled over his desk in his study, a fatal bullet wound in the back of his neck, and her mother, Kathleen, an Alzheimer’s victim, hiding in the study closet, incoherent and clutching the murder weapon. The police suspect Kathleen, who in her lucid moments knows that Jonathan was involved with a much younger woman. 

But Mariah believes the key to her father’s death is tied to another question: Where is the missing parchment? Whom, among his close circle of friends, might he have consulted? And did one of them kill to keep possession of the letter?

What Mariah doesn’t know is that there was an eyewitness to the murder, someone whose unwise attempt to blackmail the killer begins a new circle of death, with Mariah as the ultimate target of one person’s obsession with a priceless historical treasure. 

With all the elements that have made her a worldwide bestselling author, Mary Higgins Clark’s The Lost Years is at once a breathless murder mystery and a hunt for what may be the most precious religious and archeological treasure of all time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Clark, known rightly as the queen of suspense, performs her usual magic…An intriguing blend of religious history and contemporary mystery, The Lost Years confirms Clark’s status as a writer who is willing and able to bend her formula—and to do so successfully—to address topics not often found in the genre.

    Richmond Times Dispatch

  • “If you’re someone who enjoys sharing novels with others, though, beware: lend this book and you may never get it back. That’s because, for mystery fans, The Lost Years is truly a keeper.

    Pittsburgh Tribune

  • “At once a breathless murder mystery and a hunt for what may be the most precious religious and archeological treasure of all time.”

    BookReporter.com

  • “Once again Mary Higgins Clark affirms why she is the ‘Queen of Suspense’… Ms. Clark has another winner for her readers to enjoy getting us there with this entertaining taut tale in which the suspense spins from family violence to biblical archeological violence.”

    Mystery Gazette

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judi | 2/17/2014

    " This book was ok - a lot of jumping around with the characters. Didn't love it, but it didn't have a predictable ending, so that was good for me. I usually have it figured out before the book ends. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 2/16/2014

    " Does not read as smoothly as I have come to expect from Ms Clark's books in the past. The writing is awkward and stilted. Potential for this plot was not realized. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karolyn | 2/10/2014

    " Really enjoyed this story. Differently worth the read. Very relaxing and easy to read. Not her best work . "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 2/9/2014

    " If I did not know the author I never would have guessed Mary Higgins Clark. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penelope | 2/3/2014

    " It's been quite a while since I read a MHC book, but the style remains the same. She always brings you along on the journey quite nicely with an interesting cast of characters, locations, suspenseful situations, and a murder mystery. I appreciate the fact that you always know what the main character is thinking, and feeling, and the writing will leave you wanting to know more at the end of each chapter. Of course, she brought in Alvirah and Willy, the amateur detectives, to help solve the crime. Since I have become accustomed to her writing style, I figured out the murderer about halfway through. That does not take away from the fact that her story was well written and suspenseful. Just what we've come to expect from Mary Higgins Clark. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eliana Kimball | 2/1/2014

    " I'm still waiting for a MHC book that will be equal or better than "Where are the children" and "A stranger is watching". This is not it and I'm still waiting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Belinda | 1/25/2014

    " Mary Higgins Clark just churns out the same plot again and again.. this amounted to a way to pass time on another flight. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara D. | 1/20/2014

    " Minimal plot development. Minimal character development. Predictable ending...the murderer is the only character who isn't suspected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renie | 1/15/2014

    " I enjoy Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries. This was as expected, a good plot, with many characters. It took me a while to figure out who was the villian but that is the fun of a good mystery. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for light reading and interesting topic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Autumn | 1/8/2014

    " pretty predictable but an ok mystery "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 elliereads | 1/1/2014

    " Mary Higgins Clark writes predictable, easy to read mysteries. Her style is like that of the author(s) who wrote Nancy Drew books. She always explains what people are wearing (so stylish) and there is always a lame love story. With that being said, this was a fine read while I was on the treadmill. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 12/30/2013

    " hadn't read her in about 5 years. I had forgottem how catholic her books are. Read this one in 12 hours. Pretty good plot, but how does a lettter written by Christ end up in a churchin America. that is never explained, but otherwise enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam | 12/20/2013

    " I didn't feel this was as well written as some of the other Mary Higgins Clark books I have read. I enjoyed reading it however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Hubbard | 12/19/2013

    " Really enjoyed this... she is such a great storyteller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harriet | 12/14/2013

    " I have always loved Mary Higgins Clark's books. This book did not live up to my expectations. It was a good read but that is all. This book pales in comparison to Clark's other writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene | 12/4/2013

    " Author grabs you on the first page and holds your interest to the last. She keeps you in suspense, just when you think you have everything figured out it takes a turn you didn't expect. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christy | 11/8/2013

    " When I want an easy, entertaining read, I turn to Mary Higgins Clark. This book was mildly entertaining, but wasn't up to par with some of her other books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Loriann Fish | 11/5/2013

    " Usually I can hardly put a Mary Higgins Clark book down. Not this time. I'm not quite sure why, but I wasn't drawn in by the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 9/28/2013

    " Read the book in one day...perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Clark-cook | 9/24/2013

    " I think this is only the second book I have read by this author, but I found it a good read and will look into others by her as well. The mystery kept me turning pages and it read quite fast. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 P.a. Jaroma | 9/9/2013

    " Not one of her best, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 3/6/2013

    " Always pulled in from the first page. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherrie Saint | 12/28/2012

    " This MIGHT be my favorite Mary Higgins Clark book yet. She never lets me down. What an awesome book. It's a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miranda | 12/23/2012

    " Her books are always good, fast reads. However lately they are a bit predictable. I figured it out on page 71 but still was intrigued reading the rest of the book. Read it in one day and don't regret it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Babs | 9/20/2012

    " Good book. A bit of a twist with the main character's Mother having dementia. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lotte_ladybird | 9/16/2012

    " The plot was quite thin which is a shame - I had high hopes for it. I also just can't get into her style of writing and she uses too many names. It's just not natural and it disturbs the flow of the reading. I'm officially giving up on MHC's books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllis | 9/3/2012

    " I always enjoy reading Mary Higgins Clark work. This book has a lot of twists and turns. Currently on page 218/292 pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 ShaRhonda | 8/17/2012

    " So disappointed! MHC is my fave suspense writer. This book dragged on and on. Too many characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 6/19/2012

    " Good story but the "bad guy" was obvious very early on. Still liked it a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sigrid | 5/18/2012

    " This book was typical of Mary Higgins Clark: a great storyline with cheesy/fluffy writing. I keep coming back and will continue to come back because she's a "clean" author. This one was a great vacation kind of read. Fun and not too thought provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy Riedlinger | 3/23/2012

    " Really had a tough time getting through this one & I am a huge fan of MHC. "

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About the Author
Author Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark’s books are worldwide bestsellers. In the US alone, her books have sold over one hundred million copies. She is the author of over thirty suspense novels and coauthor, with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, of five holiday suspense novels. She was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon & Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their board of directors. In May 1988, she was chairman of the International Crime Congress.

About the Narrator

Jan Maxwell is an American stage and television actress. She made her Broadway debut in the musical City of Angels and has been nominated for two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards. She won the 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her Broadway credits include Sixteen Wounded, Match, and The Dinner Party. She is the sister of Obie Award–winning playwright Richard Maxwell.