cover image Morning Noon & Night

Morning Noon & Night

Sidney Sheldon. William Morrow & Co Inc, $24 (375pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08492-9

Its epigraph may be from Rimbaud, but the rest of this mega-soap opera is pure Sheldon (Nothing Lasts Forever): a twisty, turbo-paced yarn of international intrigue set in the ``champagne wishes and caviar dreams'' world of the super-rich. When ruthless billionaire Harry Stanford is found drowned off the coast of Corsica, his three legitimate children gather at Rose Hill, the Stanford estate in Boston. They are Woody, a polo-playing playboy who likes to abuse both drugs and his ex-waitress wife; Tyler, who has parlayed a first-rate legal mind into a Chicago judgeship; and Kendall, whose success as a fashion designer is marred by her dark secret and the blackmailer who knows it. The mogul's will dictates that his fortune be divided among his ``issue''--including the beautiful young woman who, hearing of her father's death, flies to Boston to at last meet her half-siblings. She is Julia Stanford, the tycoon's cast-off love child, now an enterprising executive secretary in Kansas. Of course, Julia finds herself cast as an object of suspicion by the doubting Stanfords. But even as she is drawn into the web of deceit that surrounds the family fortune, the troubled lives of the other heirs and, it turns out, Harry Stanford's death, she finds, in typical Sheldon fashion, enduring romance. This isn't Sheldon's finest. The narrative is a bit choppy and the characters less than lustrous. But his plot hooks remain sharp and it's the rare fan who's not going to be ensnared once again by this perennially bestselling author. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.)