By Nasreen Khan

First things first. This is not a book by Sidney Sheldon. It’s a series inspired by his writings or rather an effort, looking obviously at commerce, to continue with the legacy of the bestselling author. The author Tilly Bagshawe is a British freelance journalist and writer based in Los Angeles. She had been a big fan of Sidney Sheldon’s and after his death she was personally chosen by the Sheldon family to carry on writing in his indomitable style.
So if you pick up this book looking for the Sidney Sheldon drama, suspense and thrill, I suggest you pass it. But that is not to say that the book is a let down. The beginning is a tad slow. Then, it picks up pace and comes up with twists and turns that mark every Sidney Sheldon novel. But its the end that leaves you cold, perhaps even in a state of mourning for the deceased author who excelled in the thrill-a-minute, explosive climax in most of his novels.
Grace Brookstein is the prised wife of the king of Wall Street Lenny Brookstein, a true sugar daddy. Billionaires many times over, the Brooksteins have estates around the world, a fleet of yachts and a fantasy life. Lenny is the financial wizard who made billions with hedge funds and then apparently lost it all.  Grace remains the pretty, angelic little daddy’s girl who is guileless and trusting. And she suffers because of that.
When Lenny disappears and billions go missing, Grace finds herself behind bars. Locked up with criminals and facing the wrath of the world, Grace sets out to clear her dear husband’s name. The real drama and suspense begins to unfurl once Grace is in jail.
The book deals with contemporary subjects without delving unnecessarily. There is mention of the Wall Street’s collapse, reminding of the recession. Then there is same-sex love, sibling jealousy and incest. Yet they fail to shock or justify the plot. This is mostly because, overnight, Grace transforms into a bold woman undertaking a dangerous journey.
All through the story you are supposed to feel sorry for Grace and you do. But only at the surface. Underneath you wonder why is she being made to appear as if she is daddy’s little girl. Neither is Grace’s pain convincing nor is her transformation and you might find your interest waning as you near the end. And though the author intends the end to be dramatic, you get a nagging feeling that you knew it was coming. 
The plot feels like a long-running soap opera and the main characters straight out of Danielle Steel novels. There are elements of Mills & Boons too. The characters are one-sided, though Bagshawe tries to add colour through the characters. But in the end they all seem like dummies put out there to highlight Grace’s innocence. Grace is the least convincing, particularly toward the end.
You expect the plot to thicken but no such luck. There are dramatic escapes and sudden accomplices, and friends turn into enemies out of the blue. The storyline is hackneyed and lacks surprise. The author has tried to fit into Sheldon’s shoes but she leaves a clear imprint of her gender. It is good for those looking for light reading. For those looking for thrill, better you re-read some of Sheldon’s earlier novels.

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