cover image Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son

Danielle Steel. Delacorte, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-34315-2

Perennially popular Steel (Power Play), who is nearing the publishing century mark with her trademark blend of family issues and problematic romances, delivers a contrived tale of suspense centered on twin brothers Peter and Michael McDowell. As a child, Peter is troubled and troublesome. In contrast, Michael, the apple of his parents%E2%80%99 eyes, can do no wrong. Growing up, the brothers are always at odds. Peter eventually finds success as an investment banker in New York, while Michael takes over his father%E2%80%99s medical practice and becomes a beloved figure in the small town of Ware, Mass. After a stock market crash wipes Peter out financially, his wife, Alana, leaves him, taking their two boys with her. Peter moves to Ware, where the brothers have a rapprochement that surprises them both and pleases Michael%E2%80%99s invalid wife, Maggie. When Peter contacts Bill, Michael%E2%80%99s estranged son, Bill shares his misgivings about his father with his uncle. Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale in a family melodrama that only dedicated Steel fans are likely to find of much interest. (Feb.)