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06 March 2013

Sidney Sheldon: The Best Laid Plans

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For many years I have read books by Sidney Sheldon as a light alternative from my normal diet of heavier espionage, political and detective thrillers. His books have always been enjoyable - and this one is no exception - but while I would recommend it "The Best Laid Plans" is not one of Sheldon's best.

The late Sidney Sheldon was a prolific writer of page-turning popular novels which mainly featured determined women who persevere in a tough world run by hostile men. He is the seventh best selling writer of all time. This is an even more remarkable achievement because he started life as a script writer of movies, musicals and TV series and didn't focus on novels - his favourite medium - until he was over 50. This book was published when he was 80!

Oliver Russell is infatuated by beautiful, hyper-intelligent and ambitious Leslie Stewart. He leaves her (almost at the altar) when he is seduced by a political power-broker who tells him that he will back him for State Governor and give him a chance of getting to the White House if he marries his daughter. Devastated Leslie plans her life to gain the power to bring down Oliver's ambitions. Both of them get success but at considerable cost.

Sheldon's style is popular, easy to read and premised on keeping you reading because the end of each chapter leaves you wanting to read the next one to find out what happens next. This book is no exception but the plot line about paying for political power was a bit far-fetched for my liking. I gave it 3.5 stars but rounded it up to 4 stars because I still enjoyed it.

This particular book is one of several recent re-releases of Sidney Sheldon's books with promos for the forthcoming release of a Sidney Sheldon plot extrapolation by Tilly Bagshawe. I have a number these special re-releases of some of Sidney's more popular books on my reading list before I decide whether to purchase any of Tilly's books.


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