cover image Memories of Midnight

Memories of Midnight

Sidney Sheldon. William Morrow & Co Inc, $21.95 (399pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08488-2

Subtlety is not Sheldon's strong suit, but rarely has it been so utterly absent from his character development and plotting as in this crudely carved sequel to The Other Side of Midnight , which reprises Catherine Douglas's earlier role as a pretty patsy. Greek tycoon Constantin Demiris likes his plate of revenge ice-cold. Many months after he maneuvered to have Catherine, his mistress, and the lover she betrayed him with executed, he decides to tie up a few loose ends by ordering the death of anyone who can prove he engineered that heinous--and not entirely successful--crime. But like a cat with a juicy mouse, he keeps toying with Catherine, who, though suffering from amnesia, is the only person who could actually sink the billionaire ship owner. Fluttering in her orbit are the world's most thickheaded lawyer and an inexplicable office-mate named Wim, a misanthrope who reels off dates and numbers like an automaton. The final chapters are totally farfetched: one character commits suicide in an especially difficult way and another turns out to be a cold-blooded killer. Yet despite clunky dialogue and gargantuan lapses of logic, the bloody action and sweet turnaround in the final payback are likely to net Sheldon his usual spot on the bestseller list. First serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.)