Prather’s Pick: A Sidney Sheldon sequel
Sidney Sheldon was a master storyteller, the author of over 20 hard-to-put-down (for me, impossible-to-put-down) best-selling novels. Besides novels, he wrote screenplays for 23 motion pictures, and produced and directed four television series. He is the only writer to have won an Oscar, a Tony and an Edgar!
Sheldon died in 2007, but now one of his most popular heroines, Tracy Whitney of “If Tomorrow Comes,” returns in “Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow,” written by Tilly Bagshawe and published by William Morrow (2014).
The novel has a complicated plot that takes place in settings all over the world and, interestingly, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It begins in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil where Jeff Stevens and best man Gunther Hartog are waiting at a church. Jeff is about to marry Tracy Whitney.
This is not any ordinary couple. Jeff is the second-most-talented con artist in the world, second only to Tracy. Together Jeff and Tracy have carried out enough capers to have more money than they can use in a lifetime. Their victims have been the rich, corrupt and greedy. Their most recent caper has been to steal the priceless Lucullan Diamond from the Netherlands diamond-cutting factory in Amsterdam. In doing so, Tracy and Jeff “outwitted” the Dutch police and an insurance agent, Daniel Cooper, who followed them all over Europe.
But the couple is putting all this behind them — no more capers. However, Tracy can’t resist just one more. It has to do with her hatred of the corporate raiders, those individuals who buy up corporations and strip them. It happened to her mother when her father died and Joe Romano bought up their company and stripped it, leaving her mother penniless. Her mother committed suicide. So when Tracy is on the plane to Brazil, her seatmate introduces himself as Maximilian Pierpont, one of the corporate raiders she has been out to get all these years. Tracy introduces herself as the Countess Valentia Di Sorrento, a name she has taken before.
While Pierpont sleeps, Tracy reads an on-flight magazine about Brazil and is particularly interested in an environmental article concerning the erosion problem along the coast of the country. It gives her an idea for getting even with Pierpont. It takes a few days, but in the end, Pierpont, who thinks he’s cheating the Countess, buys property that will erode away, and he’s the one who loses millions. But Tracy says this is the last caper.
She and Jeff marry a few shortly after. A year later finds them in London where Jeff works at the British Museum, something he’s dreamed of doing since he was a boy. For Tracy, the dream is about something else — a baby. When she finds out she’s pregnant, “tomorrow has finally come” for Tracy.
However, there’s trouble on the horizon when Rebecca Mortimer, Ph.D., student and intern, comes to the museum. Jeff doesn’t know that her intention is to break the couple up. Then Tracy miscarries and sinks into depression, and Rebecca takes advantage of her condition to cause trouble between the couple. Tracy disappears without telling Jeff she is pregnant again.
Tracy travels to the United States where she buys a ranch at Steamboat Springs, 100 acres and a luxurious home. She hires Blake Carter as a land manager. Her son Nicholas is born in Steamboat and she spends her life raising him. Jeff has no idea where she is.
Then, when Nicholas is 9 years old, Inspector Jean Rizzo of Interpol enters the plot. He’s investigating the Bible Killer Case, involving the murder of 11 women in 10 different cities all over the world. Police in six countries are involved, and the Inspector believes the killer may be someone Tracy knows.
There’s a lot more to this novel, and the end suggests that there may be yet another sequel.
I enjoyed this novel! “Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow” is a new book at the Moffat County Library. If you choose to purchase the book, published by William Morrow, the hardcover costs $26.99.
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