cover image Inheritance


Judith Michael. Poseidon Press, $18.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-54105-7

Countless layers of betrayal overlap in this tightly knit tale by the husband-and-wife writing team of ""Judith Michael.'' After the death of their parents, Laura and Clay Fairchild are trained in the stealthy art of burglary by their stepbrother Ben. In setting up the wealthy owners of the world-class Salinger hotel chain, Ben intends to avenge his father for injuries done him by Felix Salinger. Laura scotches this plan, however, by striking up an unlikely friendship with Owen, the clan patriarch, who takes the reserved young woman under his wing and is repaid tenfold by her fierce devotion. In this happy home, Laura finds a family and a lover, Paul. But she loses everything when Felix uses her past to thrust her out of paradise during a bitter contest over Owen's will. Determined to regain her legacy, she creates an exclusive hotel empire that rivals that of the Salingers, while Ben makes his mark on that family through a more underhanded route. Then a twist of fate nearly destroys their hard-earned achievements. Although the plot twists are sadly predictable, lively characterizations and a smooth, assured style add up to first-rate commercial entertainment that far surpasses their most recent novel, Private Affairs. Paperback rights to Pocket Books. (April)