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Are You Afraid of the Dark?    by Sidney Sheldon order for
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
by Sidney Sheldon
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Across the globe, four people are murdered and their deaths are made to look like accidents. In New York, Diane Stevens cannot believe that her beloved husband is gone. She knows that his death must be tied to the fact that she recently testified against a known mob boss. And in Paris, famous model Kelly Harris is stunned at her husband's apparent suicide. The two had plans and Kelly insists that there is something behind his death.

The two women are summoned to New York to meet with Tanner Kingsley, the CEO of Kingsley International Group (KIG), the think tank where both of their husbands worked. Shortly after the two women meet, their lives are threatened, sending them on the run. To figure out who is trying to kill them, and why, they must set aside their grief. The reasons take Diane and Kelly deep into the world of political and environmental strategy, and they must summon all of their know-how and ingenuity to remain alive.

Sidney Sheldon, the most translated author in the world of fiction, comes back on the scene with another wild ride. Compulsively readable, the action starts on the first page and doesn't stop until the last. You will enjoy Diane and Kelly, two average women who are matching wits with the smartest people in the world. It's fun to see how they manage to get out of tight situations time and time again. The evil people are truly corrupt, and readers will be cheering for Diane and Kelly to triumph in every instance.

Even with all of its suspenseful action, the character development of Diane and Kelly is handled deftly through reflective flashbacks, which endear them to the reader through familiarity. My main complaint about the novel is that the reason for the deaths and why the women are being pursued isn't cleared up until the last minute, which makes the ending feel quite rushed. Some surprises are worth waiting for, but knowing why Diane and Kelly were running would have given the story more depth.

However, fans of Sidney Sheldon will not be disappointed by this latest offering, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? would be a good place to start for those who have never given his books a try.

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