cover image Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Judith Michael. Poseidon, $21.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-64893-0

The husband-and-wife team of Judith Barnard and Michael Faine ( A Ruling Passion ) has again created a swift-moving drama set against some rich and exotic backgrounds. The wealthy, influential Chatham family, founders of a Chicago-based realty empire, present a wholesome image to the outside world. But 30-year-old financial whiz Vince Chatham has raped his 13-year-old niece, Anne, and continues to abuse her sexually. When Anne overcomes her fear and guilt to accuse Vince at a family gathering, she is met with skepticism from her relatives and denial from Vince. After Anne runs away from home, however, Vince is stripped of his position at the corporation; enraged, he vows to destroy the rest of the Chatham clan. Nineteen years later, Anne, although emotionally scarred, has become one of Los Angeles's top divorce lawyers and is warily beginning a relationship with a renowned archeologist. Thoroughly unprincipled Vince is now a U.S. senator from Colorado, with his eye on the White House. He is powerful enough to cause grave financial harm to the family's cherished resort property in Tamarack, Colo., and when he finds that Anne has risen to prominence he coolly plots her murder. The plot moves smoothly, with ease and style, deftly combining romance, intrigue and nonstop action. (Oct.)