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The Lost Years

(Alvirah & Willy #9)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  10,093 ratings  ·  1,265 reviews
In The Lost Years, Mary Higgins Clark, America’s Queen of Suspense, has written her most astonishing 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.

Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons believes he has found the rarest
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published (first published April 3rd 2012)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  10,093 ratings  ·  1,265 reviews

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Elise Stone
Jun 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Life is too short to read a bad book.

I generally like to finish what I start. I tend to fall asleep on movies, but I'll rewind them (do you rewind a DVD?) when I wake up or start them again the next night--or nights--until I see the whole thing. I read most books all the way to the end, even if I find parts of them dragging.

I had to stop reading this book. It was that bad. If it had been submitted to an agent or editor by a new writer rather than Mary Higgins Clark, it would have gotten a form r
Mary Higgins Clark is reliable, if nothing else, for serving up bland murder mysteries for the Matlock set. I didn't go into this thinking "hard-hitting think piece" so much as "of the Golden Girls, I really wish Dorothy would've been the last one. Love me some Maude." Her books aren't terrible, however, and can help you pass time you'd otherwise spend chewing your nails or pondering self-tanner (don't.) Also, she has a free pass for "All Around the Town," and always will, as it was the first bo ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-finished
Several years ago, I had read and loved everything Mary Higgins Clark had written. For many reasons I had not attempted to read one of her books over the past 5 or 6 years. However, the premise of The Lost Years intrigued me so I decided to give the author another try. To my great disappointment, I found this book too difficult to complete.

I stayed with the book for about 100 pages and could not go further. I found myself dreading picking it up to finish it and I, once started, rarely do not com
The Lost Years was a quick, okay read. I actually only warmed up to a few of the characters, and even the murder victim was not completely easy to sympathize. Mariah was not bad by any ways but did sometimes come off immature. This one was pretty predictable but honestly it was the characters that just left me disengaged with the read. Overall though it is not a bad back at all, just was not feeling the characters.

My quick and simple overall: not bad and a quick read but not my favorite Mary Hig
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Let me make this clear: I love Mary Higgins Clark.
I've read plenty of her books and never given any of it below 3-star rating but giving 2 stars to this one feels too generous.

First, this book started off with a Da Vinci Code type of plot which was not needed at all. Instead of that letter written by Jesus stuff, easily there could have been something else used to define the story. Suspense was carried out in classic Clark-style which was a good thing but I don't think she is capable of mix
Cathy Standish
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this review by noting that in the past I have read Mary Higgins Clark. In the past I enjoyed her writing, enjoyed her books, her style. Touted "The Queen of Suspense" Mary Higgins Clark wrote novels that were pleasant summer reads, books to be read while basking in the summer sun while lounging by the beach or the pool. Sadly, that time seems to have passed.

With "The Lost Years" Mary Higgins Clark introduces us to her ghost-writing hack. Poorly written, with laughable plot, ridic
Apr 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"The Lost Years" is the only book I've ever thrown a fit over having wasted money on ($7.99 plus tax? Should've bought three Chick-fil-As at the airport instead... more appetizing). It's also a book I'll keep in my library to remind myself what authors can get away with once they've established themselves. She's Mary Higgins Clark so she can write what anyone else would get a form rejection for?


- Bought this book because I was intrigued by the idea of a "lost letter writ
As usually Mary Higgins Clark keeps you guessing, she really is the queen of suspense. From the description I was afraid it would be different than her usual works (or too Dan Brown-y) but it wasn’t it was another great mystery/suspense and with the bonus of Alvirah who was not even mentioned in the synopsis which I don’t understand, I am a fan of Alvirah so was happy when her and Willie showed up!

Yes there is a supposed letter/parchment written by Jesus but as I said it doesn’t go into a big ch
Laurie Franco
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I am quite biased where Mary Higgins Clark is involved. From the time my mother, grandmother and I began reading her books, I fell in love with her mesmerizing storytelling and the endless ideas she comes up with. The Lost Years tells the tale of Mariah Lyons, whose father, Jonathan, is murdered one night, shortly after finding what he believes to be the only letter written by Jesus Christ to his faithful follower, Joseph of Arimathea, which had been stolen from the Vatican Library ...more
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
This is the first Alvirah and Willy book by Mary Higgins Clarke that I have read (apart from Santa Cruise many years ago which I didn't enjoy and don't think I finished) and I believe is the 9th in the series. I don't know how Mary comes up with so many different story lines but she does and this was really interesting involving a missing possible religious parchment written by Christ and the death of a professor who had unearthed it. I love Mary's books and have read many - they are always easy ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
While visiting a garage sale at the home of empty-nesters who were downsizing, I came upon an entire bookcase of Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries, lovely hardbacks in pristine condition. I have a friend who loves this author, so I thought I'd give her a try -- at $1.00 a book, how could I lose? I found reading this book to be similar to eating a bowl of popcorn, light but satisfying and devoured much more quickly than I intended. If you like the occasional mystery, then I think this author would m ...more
Colleen Vincent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I read MHC as a sort of "palate cleanser"--light, easy reading in-between heavier subject matter. I enjoy her mysteries and her characters normally hook me. I first read "Where are the Children?" more than 20 years ago and I still recall how drawn into the story I was, so much so that I was surprised to find out it was hot and sunny outside when I put the book down. I felt such a part of the story, I thought it was cold and gray and ominous outside.

Not so with her latest, The Lost Yea
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Mary Higgins Clark. Maybe its because she lives in my area, or that I see her shopping at the A&P, or that her grandson went to school with my daughter, or that I've heard her lecture many times (along with Harlen Coben who also lives in my area - I see him pounding away at his laptop at the local Panera). Whatever it is, I like her, and I like her writing. This time, however, she really disappointed me. Mary says that she usually comes up with her plot ideas from reading the newspaper. I ...more
Sally Lindsay-briggs
I am a big fan of this author. At first, it was difficult to get into the book but once I had sorted out all the characters (there were quite a few) the plot thickened and it was a race to see who killed Jonathan, Was the stolen document written by Jesus real and where exactly was it? Jonathan's wife is accused of the murder and what happens to her? Another great mystery by the Queen of Suspense. ...more
As much as I loved to see Alvirah and Willy back, I found this to be a very predictable plot. My mom didn't figure out the killer until the end, whereas I knew who the killer was by the end of the first few chapters. Perhaps I've read too many MHC books that I can guess her patterns. Found it only okay and not overly exciting. ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
The most shocking part of this book was that I was able to figure out who was behind everything. This book was a real page turner and there’s a reason that Mary Higgins Clark is the queen of suspense.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very creative story!
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 2012
ISBN-10: 1451668864
ISBN-13: 9781451668865
Pages: 304 pages
Review Copy from:
Edition: HC
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (from Publisher):
In The Lost Years, Mary Higgins Clark, America’s Queen of Suspense, has written her most astonishing 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 valu
Sandy Pavick
The plot of this book by respected and prolific novelist, Mary Higgins Clark, centers around a letter supposedly written by Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea, the only letter penned by Jesus. Clark says in the forward to the book that the idea came from her longtime editor (and writer), Michael Korda. She shouldn't have listened to him.

Clark crafts an interesting and very readable mystery without the Biblical factor, which I found to be rather distracting and "DaVinci Code"-esque. Did Jesus know how
Linda K. Melzer
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful novel by Mary Higgins Clark

Ms Higgens Clark has wriitten another suspenseful novel involving endearing characters as only she can. She weaves a wonderful story. I admit I wasn't able to solve this who done it until the last few pages. This is a light novel and those looking for more depth might be disappointed. It is, however, a very enjoyable read and Mary Higgins Clark fans won't be disappointed.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fan of Mary Higgins Clark. I love the way she drops little hints and intesifies the suspense with each chapter.

A great read and such a creative idea. Imagine if there was a letter that Christ wrote. That would be a sight to see!
An enjoyable and non-taxing read for a sunny Sunday afternoon. Follows the standard Mary Higgins Clarke formula and I’m definitely a fan.
Ann Jorandby
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Mary Higgins Clark so I knew I would like this book. It wasn't as intense as many of her other books, but a good read nonetheless! ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
I guess I’m in the minority, but I think that this is MHC’s best book ever! Biblical scholar & archaeologist Jonathan Lyons has found, in an old church, what he believes to be a letter written by Jesus Christ!! Within days he is murdered & his wife, Alzheimer sufferer, is found hiding in a closet clutching the murder weapon & totally incoherent. Within Jonathan’s tight circle of friends who is the villain?? I read at least the last 100 pages non-stop enthralled with the plot, clues, the writing ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons has come across the most coveted and valuable object in the world, a letter written by Jesus. But before he can do anything, he is murdered and the document taken. Kathleen, his wife who suffers from Alzheimer's, is accused of the killing. Mariah, his daughter, knows that isn't possible, but which one of the four colleagues, Greg, Richard, Albert or Charles did this? Or was it Lillian who had been Jonathan's lover for the last five years. Alvirah and Willy, detect ...more
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although i am a fan of Mary Higgins Clark her books for me in recent times have become quite predictable and similar. As a result ive put of reading this one for the fear of being disappointed. But thankfully this was not the case for despite not being a total return to form does give me faith that she can still produce top notch crime thrillers.

The lost years is the story of Mariah Lyons whos father Johnathon is was a well respected academic who comes across a parchment said to be written by Ch
May 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, mystery
The Lost Years
2 Stars

Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons is murdered in his home after consulting several experts on a rare parchment supposedly authored by Jesus Christ. His wife, Kathleen Lyons, an Alzheimer sufferer, is accused of the crime, but his daughter, Mariah is convinced of her mother’s innocence and sets out to prove that her father’s death is related to the missing document.

Mary Higgins Clark was once a must buy author for me, but I appear to have outgrown her writing style. The narrat
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Keeps you guessing the whole book long.

The Lost Years -- 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. Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons 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 1500s, the letter was assumed to be lost forever. Now, under the
Gloria Feit
A good idea wrapped in a lot of superfluous schmaltz sums up this latest effort by Mary Higgins Clark. The plot involves the discovery by a Biblical scholar, Dr. Jonathan Lyons, of the only letter supposedly ever written by Jesus, and Lyons’ subsequent murder, presumably as a result. The mystery, of course, is which of his various friends and co-workers wants the manuscript to sell on the black market instead of it being returned to the Vatican library from which it was removed in the 1400’s.

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels.

Clark’s books have sold more than 100 milli

Other books in the series

Alvirah & Willy (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Weep No More, My Lady
  • The Lottery Winner
  • All Through the Night
  • Deck the Halls
  • The Christmas Thief
  • Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea
  • Dashing Through the Snow
  • I'll Walk Alone
  • As Time Goes By (Alvirah and Willy, #10)
  • All By Myself, Alone

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