Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN - 10: 0446357448
ISBN - 13: 978-0446357449
All of us dream of somehow inheriting a vast fortune, but for Elizabeth Roffe, this inheritance comes with an invisible enemy. Inheriting Roffe Industries after her father's mysterious death, things start happening that convinces Elizabeth that someone, or some people, are trying to take over her fortune - even if it means taking her life.
If the above plot has not moved you yet, then you probably have problems. The first few pages of this book is strongly gripping, forcing you to turn the pages and read it in one sitting. The ugly duckling to graceful swan that is Elizabeth's life is magical and full of beautiful imagery, her relationship with her stoic father very realistic and sympathetic. Fast-paced and dripping with exciting dialogue, this book will lead you on a thrilling roller coaster ride, only to have the ride stop at the top of the highest loop, the operator telling you that the ride is over.
What happened to Elizabeth's cousins? To the other characters? I can't believe that a book with so much promise could end so utterly disappointing. Yes, it did solve the mysteries but it just fell flat. The author has created such vivid characters that one would think they would each be given endings befitting their flamboyance. I would have thought that great character development + original plot + sharp dialogue + brilliant author = smashing novel. But I was wrong, glaringly, stupidly wrong. Without giving away a spoiler, I would have thought that the discovery of the bad guy would be more complicated than what happened. It's so disappointing to learn that while guessing whodunit, it turns out, it's not even worth knowing, as this book is hardly worth reading. Flat, flat, flat.
Obviously, I am very bitter about the ending, hence the low rating. But bad ending aside, this book is a superb story of maturity, love, wisdom, dysfunctional families, coveted fortunes, and gruesome murders and attempted murders. The author's storytelling is excellent, letting the reader see for him/herself what happens in each chapter, letting the reader feel and not just know, each word's impact in this story. I tried to get past the throng of questions and unresolved issues I had with the ending and the characters, but I just can't. I felt that it ruined the whole book for me. If you can be satisfied with how this turned out, then I admire you. Maybe it's my 'impatient reader' attribute kicking in again.
If you're planning to read this book, go ahead. As I say over and over again, preference is relative. What may be dull and flat for me may be the most exciting for another person. After all, I have seen a number of good reviews on this book, I just can't be swayed by other people's opinion. Maybe I'm just a stubborn ox.