The first book I picked up (not counting Harry Potter, or collected works by authors such as Agatha Christie, or other children’s books) was by Sidney Sheldon. I think I might be a little biased, but he’s one of the best authors. I’ve read every book, and loved each one, but I have some favourites.
I absolutely adore these books. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read them.
The thing I enjoy about Sidney Sheldon’s books is that his characters are flawed, intelligent, and have a silent, unidentified strength about them.
Let’s get straight to it.
- Master of the game:
Description: “WHO IS KATE BLACKWELL? She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parleyed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she’s a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth. Now, celebrating her ninetieth birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil — her winnings in life. Is she the… MASTER OF THE GAME?”
Why I like it: There is something enticing about a ruthless female character who will do anything it takes to get her way. It’s a nice change from the common bias that women are good and decent, kind and helpful; women can be just as cut-throat, or even more so than, men are. The journey from her humble beginnings to building an empire, almost single handedly, is purely gripping. She shows us that things worth having, don’t come easy. Things don’t get handed to you, plain and simple. You want it? Go and get it. And if somebody’s in your way? Tough luck for them. And if anybody can portray a powerful female character, it’s Sidney Sheldon.
- Nothing lasts forever:
Description: “Three young doctors-their hopes, their dreams, their unexpected desires… Dr. Paige Taylor: She swore it was euthanasia, but when Paige inherited a million dollars from a patient, the D.A. called it murder. Dr. Kat Hunter: She vowed never to let another man too close again-until she accepted the challenge of a deadly bet. Dr. Honey Taft: To make it in medicine, she knew she’d need something more than the brains God gave her. Racing from the life-and-death decisions of a big major hospital to the tension-packed fireworks of a murder trial, Nothing Lasts Forever lays bare the ambitions and fears of healers and killers, lovers and betrayers.”
Why I like it: If something hasn’t changed, it’s that surgery is still a ‘boys club.’ Sure, more and more women are now entering the surgical field, with men taking on domestic responsibilities, or the women balancing both work and family life, but the number still doesn’t favour women. And in the book, at that period, the account of lives of these three doctors is quite authentic and entertaining. A ‘plain Jane’ who’s more than she’s letting on, a strong, confident woman you couldn’t know less about, and a woman who wants nothing more than to do some good in this world of lies and medical fraud, and their intersecting stories, as one of the women makes a mistake (or two) that’ll send their lives spiralling out of control. Crime-thriller interlaced with medicine? Count me in.
- Are you afraid of the dark?
Description: “In four cities across the world, four people die violently and mysteriously. The dead share a single crucial link: each was connected to an all-powerful environmental think tank. Two of the victims’ widows-accomplished artist Diane Stevens and international supermodel Kelly Harris-may hold the key to their husbands’ demise. Terrified for their lives, suspicious of each other, and armed only with their own wits and guile, they must join forces in a nightmare cycle of hunt-and-kill. At stake is the shattering truth about the tragedies that robbed them of the men they loved…and about an awesome conspiracy whose ultimate target is as big as the earth and as close as the air we breathe.”
Why I like it: Who doesn’t enjoy a good old fashioned story of ‘the little man takes on the giant’? I particularly enjoy this because it describes two women who couldn’t be any different from each other, and yet, alike in so many ways – both relentless, both in search of the truth. They are forced to pool their resources and work together, putting aside their differences to serve a common agenda, to achieve a common goal. And thus forms a reluctant partnership, in order to thrive, to take on the big bad wolf, to see it through the finish line.
- If tomorrow comes:
Description: “Lovely, idealistic Tracy Whitney is framed into a fifteen year sentence in an escape-proof penitentiary. With dazzling ingenuity she fights back to destroy the untouchable crime lords who put her there. With her intelligence and beauty as her only weapons, Tracy embarks on a series of extraordinary escapades that sweep her across the globe. In an explosive confrontation Tracy meets her equal in irresistible Jeff Stevens, whose past is as colourful as Tracy’s.”
Why I like it: Life is seldom wrapped in a nice package with a bow on top. Tracey Whitney’s life was perfectly ordinary. She was honest, truthful, and a good, law-abiding citizen. But what do we do when we’re faced with unnatural circumstances? Do we uphold our principles? Do we continue to be honest? What happens when the doors slam shut? Tracey figures this out, and it’s quite a delight to witness. It shows that human beings have a capacity to change, for better or for worse.
- Tell me your dreams:
Description: “Computer whiz Ashley Patterson is convinced she is being stalked. Co–worker Toni Prescott has a penchant for Internet dating and little time for anyone else. And Alette Peters prefers quiet weekends in the arms of a beefcake artist. They know virtually nothing about each other–until the three women are linked by a murder investigation that will lead to one of the most bizarre trials of the century.”
Why I like it: What’s in a dream? Trauma is a relative term. We all respond to it differently. Traumatic incident for one, might be perfectly handled in another. There’s no check-list to determine degree of trauma, no scale to rate it. And when three women are accused for various murders, their lives literally come together, lines blur, and perspectives shift. The women exhibit characters very unlike each other, even showing intense dislike, but as most things in life, are there for a purpose. In this case, they help Ashley cope with a traumatic past. With an unstable narrative character with a disturbingly interesting past, this one’s for the shelf.
What’s your favourite Sidney Sheldon book(s)? Leave a comment!