If Tomorrow Comes, by Sidney Sheldon

Tracey Whitney is about to be married to a wonderful man when she gets a call saying her mum's died. She finds out that her mum had been tricked by some guy in organised crime and decides to kill him. That goes wrong, and she ends up in prison for attempted murder after a botched trial with corrupt lawyers. She determines to get out and wreak vengeance.

A 99p Kindle book, and loads of people give it 5 stars, and Sheldon is the 7th most popular fiction writer ever, or something, so there must be something in it, right?

Well.. sort of. The opening para above summarises what happens in about the first couple of chapters of the book. If I had included all the plot details, I'd practically have been quoting the book, because the book itself reads as if it were a precis of a much longer work. There's very little description, character development or tension. When reading it, and finding Tracey in prison about 10 minutes in, I assumed that, well, this was the background for a book all about Tracey's mission to get back at everyone who did the dirty on her and her mother.

But no, the revenge on the baddies is just as quickly dealt with. For eample, one of the victims is the judge at her trial, who was crooked, and gives her an unusually punitive sentence. It takes about 10 kindle pages to describe from start to finish how she manages to get him detained as a spy in Russia (she sends him some telegrams which imply that he's been selling secrets) and sent to Siberia for 14 years.

So the initial "vengeance" bit is over very quickly, and we then find how Tracey becomes some kind of international super-criminal and performs various heists against victims who really deserve what they're getting - each one taking not more than a few pages.

It's all very easy and fast moving, although to say it's implausible would be putting it kindly - in one case she hacks into a bank from a remote terminal by guessing (after two attempts) a single password which allows her access to an account that lets her transfer as much money as she wants to whoever she wants.

But I did keep reading, so it must have something. In fact I did enjoy it, although I despair a bit of the reading public if Sheldon really is the 7th most popular writer ever, if this is typical of his output.

Completed : 11-February-2016

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