cover image Sidney Sheldon's The Tides of Memory

Sidney Sheldon's The Tides of Memory

Tilly Bagshawe. HarperCollins, $26.99 (393p) ISBN 978-0-06-207342-6

Death by drowning, secret pasts, dirty politics, beautiful, ambitious women, and ice-cold killers distinguish Bagshawe's dynamic novel, commissioned by the late Sheldon's family and written in his style. As counselors at the tony Kennebunkport camp, privileged party-girl Toni Gilletti and her blue-color lover Billy Hamlin are present during a young camper's tragic drowning. Trumped-up charges lead to Billy's conviction for murder. Racked with guilt, Toni leaves home, reinventing and sanitizing her past. Years later in England, Alexia De Vere's surprise appointment as Home Secretary shakes up Parliament's old boys' club. As the second most powerful politician in England, Alexia must battle daily with myriad enemies: jealous colleagues, rowdy protesters, a mysterious stalker, a threat from her past, ruthless Russian oligarchs, and the unknown person who poisoned her dog. Rattled by escalating events aimed at derailing her career, yet bolstered by the support of her aristocratic husband, Teddy De Vere, and her best friend, Lucy Meyer, Alexia continues her work, even as she struggles with the tragic circumstances of her children, Roxie and Michael. Bagshawe (Mistress of the Game) keeps the action refreshingly unpredictable, revealing key connections and duplicity in delicious "aha!" moments. (Apr.)