Sidney Sheldon really knows how to capture a reader's full attention and be riveted to his books. He indeed is a mastermind of thriller fiction. The story started with a diary entry from the young, talented and beautiful Leslie Stewart about meeting the man she would marry. The opening entry was so intriguing that I kept reading. It was really exciting how they fell in love and I felt the sadness Leslie felt when Oliver Rusell left her a week before their scheduled wedding in his pursuit for his dream of becoming the governor of Kentucky. He eventually won with the help of Senator Todd Davis, his father-in-law.
Meanwhile, Leslie was so embarrassed with what happened that she decided to resign from her job where she and Oliver met. She then asked the help of Senator Davis to introduce her to a wealthy man who owns a newspaper publishing company that Leslie later married. She used all her wits in expanding her little newspaper empire into series of newspaper printing press, television stations and radio stations across the world.
Oliver Russell became the President of the United States and living his dream when one day Leslie Stewart started printing nasty news about him. Leslie was so consumed with her angst that she was so determined to destroy Oliver. There were several killings that linked Oliver due to his habit of giving his ladies liquid Ecstasy.
Dana Evanston is a talented and ambitious journalist who climbed her way to the top due to her sacrifices during her assignment in the most dangerous place in the world, Sarajevo. There she experienced how war could shatter the dreams of million children and leave a trace of fear in their hearts and beings. She's a tough woman who was never afraid of pursuing her dreams.
Leslie was so determined to destroy the President and prevent him from being elected for the second term. Using all her power supervised the Washington Post and even wrote the articles herself that degraded and even mangled the credibility of the President. The series of deaths of ladies that were linked to Oliver continued until the daughter of Governor Houston, Chloe Houston died of the overdose of the same dangerous substance, Liquid Ecstasy.
Me and Leslie thought and strongly believed that the President has got something to do with the killings. Later did I know that it was his assistant and campaign manager, a religous and family-centered man, Peter Tager, who was responsible for all the killings. He only masked his excessive libido with his image of a responsible and pious man when the truth is he was the man behind all the killings.
All the characters have their own best laid plans to accomplish their goals and the twist was really riveting.
My favorite characters are Leslie Stewart and Dana Evanston. They're both pretty attractive, talented and intelligent. Only that the former was so consumer with her desire for vengeance that she used all her powers to destroy Jeff Connor, her compassion for Kemal (a child from Sarajevo who lost his arm due to the war) and her success story. She climbed her way to the top and has the necessary attitude to stay there.
Here are just some of my favorite quotes from the said novel:
Three men came across a female genie who promised to grant each one their wish. The first man said, " I wish I were twenty-five percent smarter". The genie blinked, and the man said, "Hey, I feel smarter already". The second man said, " I wish I were fifty percent smarter". The genie blinked and the man exclaimed, "That's wonderful! I think I know things now that I didn't know before". The third man said, " I'd like to be one hundred percent smarter".
So the genie blinked and the man turned into a woman.
The people who are running the country have turned it into an old boy's club. They care more about themselves than they do about the people. It's not right and I'm going to try and correct that.
Money doesn't care who owns it. A bum can win it in a lottery, a dunce can inherit it, or someone can get it by holding up a bank. But power that's something different. To have power is to own the world.
If something can stop you, you might as well let it go.
The novel was really great, interesting and worth reading. I've learned so much that we need to control ourselves, bridle our passions as these could either make or break us.