10. The Stars Shine Down (1992)
In this novel, Sheldon returns to the classic themes that have made him the world’s most popular bestsellers author. The Stars Shine Down is a phenomenal story portraying a small town girl who wants to raise above her poor financial level and in a very Scarlet O-hara-way, to never be in need ever again. This story overwhelms its audience and touches a part of your heart with its incredible narrative.
Is about Lara Cameron, who from a very early age learns how to take care and make something out of herself in a male-dominated world. After the death of her father, she takes up his job, that of collecting rents for boarding houses. Soon after she proves her worth, she is approached by a man called Charles Cohn, who offers her a contract for a house, her first step in building her real estate empire. After a while she`ll have made millions and of course, a few enemies. Beautiful and insecure, ruthless, yet vulnerable, Lara has designs to achieve it all, whether it`s a piece of property, or a man she falls in love it; she goes about winning both things just the same.
With a solid base already set, she has big dreams for the future and would stop at nothing to achieve what she wants, even if it means she has to lie and cheat to close a deal. But such a behaviour from a woman inside a male dominated field is hardly to go unnoticed and she soon discovers that everything she wanted, her empire and marriage, is threatened to collapse when her association with the mafia is exposed to the law. When someone puts her husband in the hospital and threatens her empire, she realises that money was not the only thing that was at a stake in a transaction.
9. If tomorrow comes (1986)
As it is normal for romance novels, the woman is always young, beautiful, smart and most important of them all, she`s probably the vulnerable victim that is strong on the inside, or the independent woman capable of ruling the world, but bottom line, they`re all the heroes. This novel starts just like that, with a young, promising girl that has the whole life planned for her. But what happens when such a person crashes head-first into reality? As attractive as a good girl can be, a bad one is simply, hotter.
Tracy Whitney was a lovely, idealistic girl at the peak of her life. She works at a bank where she is soon to be promoted, she is engaged to a wealthy heir and expecting a child. Life seemed to go smoothly for her until one phone calls announces her that her mother has committed suicide after Joe Romano, the right-hand man of the mafia don, scammed her into selling her assets and left her in huge debt and charged of fraud. Tracy rushes to confront Romano, but ends up being arrested for attempted murder and theft. Being ill-advised by her lawyer, she ends up getting sentences to fifteen years in jail. Realizing she`s been falling from one trap into another, she swears revenge on all those who wronged her.
After a tumultuous couple of years in jail, she is granted an early parole and, having made friends while in jail, she starts exacting her revenge. Pacing herself, she hunts them down one by one but after her mission is successfully completed, she finds out that living with a criminal record hanging around her neck is harder than she expected. So what`s a “good” girl to do when the world is stacking up against her? Trusting only her intelligence and beauty, Tracy embarks on multiple escapades that sweep her across the globe, always escaping by a hair`s breadth from the authorities. Soon enough, she ends up playing a tug of war with the man who will prove to be her equal, both in mischief and in love.
8. Bloodline (1977)
Naturally, family should be the most solid foundation you have in life, but what can you achieve when the very thing that you should be able to trust decides you`re a burden? Bloodline is probably the most amazing and horrifying novel that Sheldon developed. It has greed and betrayal, sabotage and danger, and you can alarmingly find all that amidst one family.
When Sam Roffe dies in a tragic mountain climbing accident, his international pharmaceutical empire is inherited by his, of course, young, intelligent, and stunningly beautiful daughter, Elizabeth. With Sam no longer around, the Board of Directors, made out only of family members, decides this was the perfect opportunity for them to obtain control of the company.
Taking advantage of her inexperience, they convince Elizabeth that the company is facing serious financial problems and that she should allow the board members to sell out their shares. Slowly, she catches onto their debaucheries and illegal undertakings and comes to realize that something far more sinister is hiding between the lines. As she discreetly tries to investigate into the matter, several murderous attempts take place, Elizabeth understanding that far more is at stake now than just the future of her company.
Even with the murder accusations floating over their heads, you won`t be able to detach yourself from the possible villains of this novel. The story is interrupted by captivating flashbacks, detailing the lives of the bizarrely fascinating Roffs. Each comes from a different country and each has their own reasons to want Elizabeth out of the way, but as you approach the end of the book, the tension becomes unbearable, making you wonder if you`ll ever find out who`s behind the assassination attempts. Luckily, an Inspector appears all of a sudden, asking all the right questions and making all the right assumptions until it becomes clear who`s at fault and makes you wonder how you didn`t see there.
7. Angel of the Dark (2012)
As you might guess by now, none of Sidney Sheldon`s angels are actually innocent, blonde haired and blue eyed women that become victims in the cruel world they live in. Despite the title, this book is not entirely written by him. Tilly Bagshawe has decided to save one of Sidney`s unpublished manuscripts and in doing so he offers us the chance to read one of the most intricate stories Sidney ever came up with.
Just like numerous other novels before it, Angel of the Dark cuts straight to the chase. It could be consider of the most complex stories Sidney developed, spreading across 4 countries and an over 10 years long time span. LAPD detective Danny Mc Guire is appointed his very first big murder case, one that is bloodiest and violent. The victim is Andrew Jakes, an elderly multimillionaire, and his much younger and beautiful wife Angela Jakes, who is found tied to the corpse of her dead husband, brutally raped and beaten. As we`d expect from him, Danny swears to find the criminal behind such a psychopathic act, but he becomes helpless when his only witness, Angela, vanishes without a trace, causing the case to grow cold. Once the case closed, everyone decided to move on, but Danny was determined to finish the investigation at all costs.
Nine Years Later
Danny Mc Guire is in France working with the Interpol, but he was still unable to forget the gruesome crime that shattered Angela Jake`s life. On a totally different path, Matt Daley, Andrew Jakes` estranged son, decides to make his own digging about his father`s murder and soon the two men meet and unite against their common enemy, when it becomes clear that this wasn`t the first time the murderer had stroke.
Mystery and glamour, this novel clearly contains them all, and even when you think you have it all figured out, you get hooked back in by some spectacular plot twist. There have been some loop holes left in the story, but that doesn`t really affect the way the story flows. The book mainly focuses on portraying the typical reaction men have when facing a beautiful victimized woman, when they become blind to what`s right under their noses just because of a pretty face; and at the end you`re just left wondering “has justice actually been served?”
6. The Sands of Time (1988)
Sidney Sheldon fails to disappoint the public one more time. The Sands of Time is probably the most complex of his novels, following not one, but four protagonists. Everything is described to the very smallest details, making it a very unsettling reading experience. Sheldon treats every main character`s story, revealing both their past, as well as their future.
We`re in Spain, the land of scorching passion and unceasing bloodshed. Four nuns find themselves forced to leave the safety of the convent walls in order to escape the vengeance of a tyrant. Accidently, they become pawns in the civil war between the rebels, the outlawed Basque nationalists, and the army, the forces of the ruthless Colonel Ramón Acoca. But not all that glitters is gold, and we soon find out that some of the nuns are just wolves in sheep`s clothing.
Beauty On The Run
Lucia is the classic Sicilian beauty on the run, harboring a murderous secret. In order to achieve her goals, she must escape both the convent and the army and escape to Switzerland, but all her plans are endangered by her newly found love for the freedom fighter Rubio Arzano, who risks his life to save hers. Megan, with less secret plans, but a past just as mysterious, was nothing but an orphan before she joined the sisterhood, but now she will find out that not only her past is catching up with her, but her future is taking a totally new shape than what she`d expect as, in the arms of Jaime, the defiant Basque rebel leader. Graciella and Teresa are both hunted by their past, but while Graciella finds comfort in the arms of Ricardo, Teresa`s guilty conscience never leaves her, driving her in the end to betray her friends and the rebels.
Sidney Sheldon spins a yarn that is engrossing and entertaining. At first you might get the impression that it`s a bit rough, bloody and chaotic, but in fact, it`s quite the opposite. The author did nothing more than just to capture the immorality specific to the time, and perhaps sweeten it by the entangling love stories. This book will cause most controversial feelings and emotions into its reader and it is just this type of reaction that makes a book worth reading.