The Flames of Vengeance

Beverly Byrne, Author Fanfare $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-29375-3
In Byrne's ( The Morgan Women ) passionless historical novel, vengeance is not a flame but a slow-moving machine that Lila Curran sets in motion against her late husband's family, the Mendozas. Juan Luis Mendoza, head of the Spanish division of the family bank, is insanely jealous--as well as just plain insane--when he chains Lila, his Irish wife, to her bed for 13 years. There she stays until a mysterious letter smuggled in gives her the leverage to demand freedom for herself and their son Michael. When Juan Luis dies, he disinherits Michael, barring him from control of the bank. In 1898, Lila, Michael and Lord Sharrick (who hopes to marry Lila), with the help of some Mendoza family turncoats, launch an elaborate plan to crush the English Mendozas (who know little of Lila's ordeal) while regaining control of the Cordoba bank for Michael. As the plot grinds on, it is difficult to care who wins or loses; none of the characters is sufficiently developed to incite sympathy or anger. Moreover, Juan Luis, the real villain, is long dead, and the plot's living targets don't comprehend why they're under attack. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-7278-4402-6
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