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The definition of an owl had always pleased him: a night bird of prey...sharp talons and soft plumage which permits noiseless flight...applied figuratively to a person of nocturnal habits. "I am The Owl," he would whisper to himself after he had selected his prey, "and night-time is my time."
Jean Sheridan, a college dean and prominent historian, sets out to her hometown in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, New York, to attend the twenty-year reunion of Stonecroft Academy, where she is to be honoured along with six other members of her class. There is, however, something uneasy in the air: one woman in the group, Alison Kenall, a beautiful, high-powered Hollywood agent, died just a few days before, drowned in her pool during an early- morning swim. She is the fifth woman in the class whose life has come to a sudden, mysterious end.
At the award dinner, Jean is introduced to Sam Regan, a detective obsessed for years by the unsolved murder of a young woman, who may also hold the key to the identity of the Stonecroft killer. But she does not suspect that among the distinguished people she is greeting is the "Owl", a murderer nearing the countdown on his mission of vengeance against the Stonecroft women who had mocked and humiliated him, with Jean his final intended victim.
Mary Higgins Clark creates a riveting novel of psychological suspense, penetrating behind the facade of status and respectability to depict the mind of a killer.