Stillwatch Essay, Research Paper
Reading is extremely underrated in our country today. Those who do read know what I?m
saying. And I?m not talking about Dr. Seuss or Ann M. Martin. I mean REAL books! Books by
Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and other best-selling authors. One best-selling author that I have
the utmost respect for is Mary Higgins Clark. She?s written chart-topping novels such as Where
Are the Children?, A Cry in the Night, A Stranger is Watching, and The Cradle will fall. The
book that I have recently read by her is entitled Stillwatch. It was a New York Times bestseller for
10 weeks, and I know why!
We meet Pat Traymore, a young, beautiful, and talented reporter living in our nation?s
Capital. She is very in love with an older congressman named Sam Kingsley. They had a love
affair two years before the present time, when his wife was dying.
Pat is doing a TV series entitled Women in Government, and her first show is to be over
Senator Abigail Jennings, the first woman to be nominated for Vice President. Well, Pat starts
going back into Abigail?s past to find out more about her. What she does find genuinely intrigues
her: murders, love affairs, suicide, an extremely obese mother who wasn?t appreciated, and an
ex-fiancé…but that?s not all.
Pat?s real name is Kerry Adams. She is living in her parents? old house in Washington. 24
years ago, her parents died. It was said that her father had killed her mother and then himself.
Pat?s not real sure that was the case. She?s living in that house so that she can try to conjure up
some memories. And she does…like it or not. Pat begins to remember scenes such as tripping
over her mother?s bleeding body, crying for her daddy, and running through the house in a state of
Pat is seeing Sam again, and Sam can?t stand Abigail Jennings OR her burly assistant,
Toby. Toby doesn?t exactly have a clean record, and Pat?s been getting very explicit threats
about doing this show on the Senator. Sam suspects Toby, but he hasn?t even thought about
Eleanor was taken to prison for stealing money from Abigail. Then she got on parole and
disappeared. No one had seen her since. But now she?s living with a psychotic nursing home
assistant who believes himself to be an angel. He thinks that it?s his duty to put the elderly people
out of their misery when the time comes — he kills them. He is who is threatening Pat. As soon
as Pat starts getting the threats, her neighbor, a psychic woman named Lila Thatcher, decides to
keep a vigil over Pat because she senses an extremely dark aura around Pat and the home that
she?s living in. One that Lila also sensed around the time that Pat?s parents died. Lila is going to
keep a stillwatch.
When Toby finds out Pat?s real identity, he flips out and tries to kill her when the ?angel?
finally attacks, by setting her home afire. But Pat makes it out of her flaming home alive. Toby,
on the other hand, dies in the fire, but before dying, tells Pat what really happened the night her
parents died: Abigail was having an affair with Dean Adams, Pat?s father. When Abby went to
the Adams? home, Renee Adams, Pat?s mother, freaked out and shot Dean. She then shot herself.
Toby was in the car outside when it all happened, and he went in to get Abigail. As he was
picking up her purse, a terrified, young Kerry Adams – Pat – came running up to him. He threw
her up against the wall, and she fell to the floor with a shattered leg and a fractured skull.
Now that Toby is dead, and her entire life has been exposed to the media, Abigail decides
that it is high time she be done with politics. So she doesn?t make Vice President, and we hear
nothing else of her. But we do know that Sam and Pat are going to have a romantic honeymoon
after they?re married the following week.
Pat Traymore was an extremely reasonable and patient woman. We get a clear glimpse of
this reality when Pat receives a call from her stalker: ?I don?t know why you?re upset. Tell me
about it,? is something that she gracefully requests of her screaming lunatic stalker in the middle
of the conversation. She is obviously gorgeous, because when Sam is leaving her at her doorstep
after a date, he spins around, passionately grabs her, and kisses her. After the kiss, he says, ?Pat,
I?m — I?m sorry. You?re just too damn good-looking for your own good,? thus indicating that she
is a remarkably beautiful woman. Pat is also portrayed as an unusually talented reporter. Even
after all of what happened with the Abigail Jennings case, her boss still wants her to work on the
series: ?Luther does seem sincere about wanting me to stay…he thinks we might even be able to
get the First Lady. He says that he won?t let anyone but me do this program.? That is fairly
Now as we move on to the ?bad girl? of the book, we consider Abigail Jennings? outward
looks. She is a remarkably beautiful woman of 45 years, with natural, blonde hair and baby blue
eyes. She supposedly has a body to die for: This was one night she had not chosen to underplay
her beauty. Abigail was wearing an apricot satin gown with the bodice covered in pearls…that
complimented her slender waist and small frame, but accentuated her Epicurean hips. A deep
apricot shade outlined her perfectly shaped lips. Abigail is also a very demanding woman. When
it comes to her work, she lets nothing or no one get by easy: ?What do you mean there wasn?t
time?! Those figures should have been on my desk last week! If there?s not time in the daytime,
there?s time in the evening. If anyone on my staff has become a clock-watcher, I want to know
A sign of foreshadowing is shown on the very first page of the story. Pat is driving from
Concord to her home in Washington: That must be it, she thought — the corner house. Home
Sweet Home. Just the fact that those last three words are said in such a cynical way and an almost
mocking way makes you cringe. You soon come to find out that it?s not such a sweet home.
A theme that I recognized is one that can be relevant to everyone in love and anyone who
ever has been. Don?t waste time. When you have a gut feeling about something or someone, go
with it before it?s too late. ?I don?t think I?ve ever experienced anything like seeing that house
on fire, knowing you were inside. I can?t lose you, Pat, not now, not ever. I didn?t listen to my
gut two years ago, and I paid for it. Now I?m ready. I?m dead serious about not wasting any
more time. Would a honeymoon in Caneel Bay next week suit you?? This was said by Sam to
Pat when the entire ordeal is over, and he finally comes to his senses. Everyone falls in love at
least once in their life, and that is why knowing of and understanding this theme can be an
excellent reference for us.
The characters in this book were so real to me. Sometimes when I read a book, one
character in particular will strike me as just being fake. And I can?t put a face to a character that
seems unrealistic to me. But each and every character in this novel has a face that I have deeply
engraved in my mind.
As I stated before, I have the utmost respect for Mary Higgins Clark?s writings and her
creative thinking. When someone can put words on paper and turn them into worlds, it?s
remarkable. And after reading only one book written by her, I?m going to be sure that Mary
Higgins Clark?s pieces are abundant in my personal library.