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I got this book as a gift, and would recommend it to anyone who likes an easy to read thriller. The book takes a while to introduce all the characters (there are quite a few), and it takes a bit of time to remember who they all are (I found myself flicking back to the beginning just to refresh), but despite that a great book. This book is really gripping and keeps you guessing throughout, there are twists and turns all the way through, which I found really interesting. I always worry that thrillers will be too gruesome with the murders, so for those who don't like too much gore this book is fantastic. It's more about the motives and the backstabbing than the actual deaths. I found myself trying to second guess everyone and still didn't get it right. I had never heard of the author before I received this book, but will definitely be reading more of their books.
Background: I had never read a book by Sidney Sheldon before, so I was very keen to try one. I had heard lots about him but mainly through the books that were transferred into films. I liked the summary on this one as I thought this should be my first experience of his writing. About the author: Sidney Sheldon was born in Chicago in the USA in 1917. He died in 2007. In that time he wrote eighteen novels and sold over 300 million copies worldwide. He was a master story teller and a prolific writer, with 25 Motion Pictures, 6 Broadway Plays and over 200 television scripts to his name. Story of the book: The book is a mystery/thriller. It is about a beautiful 24 year old lady Elizabeth Roffe who takes over the running of a multi national Pharmaceutical company, following the death of her father Sam in a mysterious climbing accident. Very soon into the job however Elizabeth discovers that running a global company is not only very hard work but an exceptionally dangerous occupation. She refuses to turn this family owned and run business into a public company despite the insistence of her family and fellow board members. She soon discovers her late father had major concerns about incidents that were happening within the business effecting the reputation of Roffe and Sons and had commissioned an under cover investigation. This stated that someone very high up in the organisation was behind sabotaging of the company. But who could it be? All the family needed the cash but who would go to the lengths of murder for it? And will Elizabeth be next? My thoughts on the book: I think the first thing to say is I really enjoyed this book. I have never read a book by Sidney Sheldon and I found this book well written and a very good thriller. It was written in 1978 but I did not feel the story was dated in any way. The novel in truth was a little slow starting, but this allowed you to get to know and understand what was happening. But when it started moving, I found it full of action, suspense and excitement. Indeed I found it very difficult to put down once the story was unfolding. The storyline itself was intriguing and I was constantly wondering what would happen next. And what routes the various members of the family would take next. However, I did also feel that at times particularly early in the book the author spent too much time and detail giving background about the founder of Roffe and Sons and also details about Elizabeth's earlier life. That said the storyline was excellent and the author cleverly kept the reader up to speed on developments with the main characters. I enjoyed the flashbacks which demonstrated what a bizare family they were and the author was super at taking you from character to character without giving too much away about them. On the whole I found Sheldon's characters as very well researched and written. There was enough about them, their families and the perspective to make them memorable and interesting. He also was very good at arousing your suspicions at any time in the book about any one of them. Indeed, it was only when I read the last two or three pages the person behind all the attempted murders become apparent. And up to that point the author had brilliantly left all the options as to their identity still open and any one of the main characters could have been the instigator. The pace of the book was good throughout, with short and well descriptive chapters, which led naturally into one another. With the ending of the book being very exciting and dare I say it but thrilling, with an unexpected twist to keep you go the edge of your seat. I found I wanted to pick the book up at any time during the day and really looked forward to seeing where the author was taking us next. This novel was made into an all star movie that included Audrey Hepburn. Maybe it would have been good to have a final chapter to advise the reading as to what happened to the company and also to all the major players in the book. Although at the same time sometimes it's good to draw you own conclusions in this respect. I particularly liked the Detective created by the author (Max Hornung) to try and solve the 'accidents' that were happening To Elizabeth Roffe was superb. I love detectives who are a bit different and that have an odd way of working. It was just a shame he was not brought into the story until two thirds of the way through, I would like to have got to know more about his style and his experiences. Conclusion: Overall an excellent book it was both well written and exciting story. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a mystery/thriller. I will definitely be looking to read more books by this author in the near future. Published by Harper Collins Pages 456 Price: £6.99 (Paperback) ISBN: 0-00-617501-5 Year: 1978 Info on the author: www.sidneysheldon.com Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all. This review was Published under my user name on Ciao last year. @CPTDANIELS March 2009