Brewster Milton Robertson, Author . Wyrick $24.95 (494p) ISBN 978-0-941711-64-7

Robertson (Rainy Days and Sundays) updates the saga of the powerful, decadent Southern dynasty: imagine if J.R. and the rest of the Ewing clan resurfaced in North Carolina as the Graham family, with a powerful corporate entity called Graham International Ltd. (Grail), and their appetites for power, money, sex and backstabbing intact. The company's elder statesman, Clayton Graham, is nearing retirement, and a battle for power flares up between his spoiled son, Trip, and a brilliant outsider named Norris Wren. As Norris negotiates with Clayton to be named CEO, the heir apparent stumbles through bouts of drinking and anonymous trysts. Trip's excesses come back to haunt him when he becomes the prime suspect in the drug-induced death of a young actress, which occurred just after he had spent a weekend with her. Norris tries to focus on the final details of his contract with Clayton, but his corporate halo slips when he becomes involved with Trip's wife, Marilee, a gorgeous swimsuit model (and the PTA Mother of the Year to boot). The Graham family antics become all the more engrossing as Trip is blackmailed and Norris weighs his love for Marilee against Grail's uncertain future and the offer of a powerful job in the White House. Robertson's flamboyant prose can run a bit purple, particularly when he describes Trip's bad habits and the cartoonish sex between Norris and Marilee, and the ending is marred by an abrupt, over-the-top political climax. Still, Robertson's juicy storytelling will have readers anticipating the promised sequel. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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