“Haven’t We Met Before” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark
William Koenig was arrested for attempted murder of a young woman named Emily Winters. He chose her because in past life she was Kate Fallow and wanted to marry his past self Simon Guinness. When Koenig/Guinness refused she ended up murdering her husband, framing Koenig/Guinness and had him hanged.
Koenig tried to get his revenge but was foiled. Now he resides at the Haviland Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He is visited by Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Jack Carroll. Carroll believes that he is responsible for a string of unsolved murders and is trying to get him to confess.
Carroll os also dating Emily and is doubly interested in keeping Koenig behind bars.
Koenig is just baiting the two. He speaks to Carroll and the psychiatrists, but inside has plotted a way to get out and get Emily.
Koenig has murdered before. He won’t admit it to Carroll, he’s a very smart man, but he is responsible for the unsolved murders.
- Fire in Rosedale that killed an elderly woman eight years ago? In Koenig’s eyes she was a witch from Salem who had him killed.
- Murder of a cashier at the York Cinema in Mamaroneck five years ago? In Koenig’s eyes he was a 17th century pirate who set him adrift in 1603
- Jeffrey Lane a real estate broker in Rye? In Koenig’s eyes his younger brother in Glasgow in 1790 who murdered him for the estate.
The time ends and Carroll concentrates on Emily. Emily lives in White Plains, housesitting and waitressing-putting her way through college. She actually had herself regressed and saw that she was Eliza Jackson Southern Belle during the Civil War. Carroll is deeply in love with her, but understands she’s busy and needs her space at times. He calls her, but doesn’t see her as she has a long day and wants to head home.
That night Koenig breaks out-strangles the guard, escapes in the orderly’s outfit, and is out a half hour before they even realize he is gone.
This time he gets to Emily before she can press the panic button to call the police. This time he will have her.
It is the end of the line, or is it? Eliza Jackson just might make an appearance-and she’s one tough Southerner.
Thoughts after Reading:
Was good but I’m not really into past lives mysteries. However, Clark always knows how to tell a tale and does it well.
For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to I’ve Got You Under My Skin
For more stories from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to The Man Next Door
For more short stories, go to A Much Expected Murder