For those of you not yet familiar with the name Tilly Bagshawe she is a writer who once wrote a fan letter to Sidney Sheldon. She never dreamed that some day after Sheldon’s death she would be approached by his family to continue his legacy by writing new novels using the copious notes, character studies, bits of dialogue and unfinished stories that he left behind. She has more than done him justice with Mistress Of The Game, After The Darkness, Angel Of The Dark and now The Tides of Memory. She has said writing as Sheldon has been a huge honor, “but able to sit at his desk and access the master’s notes and uncompleted story lines was a dream come true.”
What a boon for Sheldon fans as is evident in her latest which is full of his trademark plot twists, non-stop excitement and stunning shocks. The Tides Of Memory spans four decades and two continents - surely enough time to hide a secret, even a horrifying one.
We begin in 1973 at a Maine summer camp for rich kids where the all the counselors are Ivy Leaguers save for one - Billy Hamlin. “By night Camp Williams had more freely available drugs booze, and what his grandma would have called “fast women” than a New Orleans whorehouse.” Nineteen year old Billy was the son of a carpenter who had done work at the camp and felt lucky to be there. While he “didn’t have many skills he did know how to party.” But he only had eyes for Toni Gilletti.
Fast forward some years to London where beautiful, ruthless Alexia De Vere has just been named Home Secretary, second only to the Prime Minister. She’s worked hard to attain this peak of power and relishes every moment of it. Married to wealthy aristocrat Teddy De Vere she has everything - success, money, power. But wait.
Her gorgeous daughter, Roxie, is a bitter young woman confined to a wheelchair due to a failed suicide attempt. She blames her mother for breaking up her engagement and ruining her life. Son Michael drops out of Oxford to begin a catering firm, and all Alexia’s colleagues, including the Prime Minister, are standing by hoping to see her fail. It seems she has no one save for her devoted husband, Teddy, who will do anything to protect her.
Then when a strange visitor appears at the De Vere home, their family dog is poisoned and Alexia receives threatening phone calls it becomes clear that she needs protection, perhaps more than Teddy can give her.
- Gail Cooke