Sidney Sheldon — #100FavouriteAuthors

A Master of Intrigue

He’s a man?!

“Oh I recommend this one author who writes crime dramas – SHE’S so good!”

I am not joking. This is how I was introduced to Sidney Sheldon by a friend. Fortunately, in the first book I read – Stranger in the Mirror – they had a picture of Sidney Sheldon on the back cover. When I corrected this friend’s mistake, he had the look of a man who’d lost all his money gambling. That would make an interesting Sidney Sheldon story though…

Stranger in the Mirror was a legitimate adrenaline rush.

I was all of 16 when I read it for the first time. Let me not hold back – it was a racy, heart-pounding crime drama laden with sex, deceit and a generous dollop of power games. It told the story of two fictitious Hollywood newcomers – Jill Castle and Toby Temple – and how they go through cycles of success and failure, and how each of them fall prey to the trappings of fame and time. A lot of you would think it’s a bit much, but let’s face it – in my day, 16 was the new 18.

If Tomorrow Comes has been even adapted in Bollywood (albeit loosely).

This is the story of Tracey, who ends up being framed by the Mafia, and sentenced to 15 years in prison for no fault of hers. The story revolves around her revenge and how she cons the Mafia once she escapes from prison.

What’s it with revenge sagas and the time period of 15 years in prison anyway? Even in Oldboy, the Korean movie, a man is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. A convict in Bollywood film Badlapur faces the same fate – 15 years in prison.

As I said, If Tomorrow Comes was loosely adapted in Bollywood by Sriram Raghavan as Ek Hasina Thi (he made Badlapur too). In Malayalam, they had a more direct adaptation of it as 22 Female Kottayam. The reason I mention these adaptations is to show you how universally accepted his stories are.

His tour de force, in my humble opinion, is Tell Me Your Dreams.

Three girls – Ashley Patterson, Toni Prescott and Alette Peters – have a weird friendship with each other. While Toni likes Alette, she’s always having fights with Ashley. The ladies’ lives are connected in more ways than they can realise, and at the end…

Sheldon pulls off a great twist ending to this one – one of my favourite twist endings of all time. And once you know what it is, you have to go back and read it again, to see what you missed that led to the ending. I recommend this one highly, especially if you’re just starting to read Sidney Sheldon.

That’s it for favourite author #4 then. See you tomorrow, folks!

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