Publisher: Bantam Press
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The first time I read a Steel, after a string of Dan Brown’s and Jeffery Archer’s, it was on my aunt’s recommendation. I was on vacation and Danielle Steel fit my mood to a T. I do admit, I was on the last hundred pages, and I still was wondering when the plot would set in!! Only when I was through with the last chapter, did I realize that the story was not progressing any further. It was a bit of an anti climax actually! But, that’s the best part of a Steel novel. All you have to do is flow with the story. It’s always a feel good novel which pumps you with an extra ounce of goodness. Like Sridevi said in “English Vinglish” – “Thanks for making me feel special about myself” Ditto that!
A protagonist who is middle aged, invariably a divorcee or a widow or someone who has been left high and dry, a cozy family set up, is what one would normally expect out of a Danielle Steel. “Betrayal” betrays all our expectations and plunges into the mucky world of crime and fraud – temporarily though. The trademark warmth of a Steele novel can still be felt throughout the pages.
The book revolves around Tallaluah a.k.a Tallie, a hotshot Hollywood director. But in contrast to what her profession may imply, she is portrayed as a simple, down-to-earth woman more interested in her work than her outlier appearance. Hunt – a producer that Tallie lives with, Max – Tallie’s teenage daughter from her first marriage, Sam – father and philosopher to Tallie, Jim Kinsington – the FBI investigator and finally, Brigitte, Tallie’s assistant of seventeen years, friend and confidante make up the other characters. An otherwise routine audit of Tallie’s accounts by her auditor brings to light, a large amount of cash that has been spent mysteriously over the last four years. This ordinary audit throws Tallie’s life into the extraordinary.
Is it Hunt, the wealthy producer, the auditor himself, or Brigitte, Tallie’s closest friend since forever? The suspects are lined up and Jim, the FBI officer comes into the scene to frame the culprit. Tallie’s normal life turns disastrous as Steele throws homicide, cheating and fraud into the mélange. Alongside all this, runs an underlying current of romance between Tallie and Jim. If so is the case, what happens to Hunt? And amongst Tallie’s close knit circle, who could be the loose thread?
With the usual components of a Steel novel and a pinch of thrill added to it, “Betrayal” makes a good read. A perfect vacation read and as always, Steel gives us a happy ending, so, the Diwali spirit wouldn’t be dampened as well!
A Steel novel is stereotyped as just for women, but guys, “Betrayal” might just surprise you! Try it!