Doomsday Conspiracy was the first novel from Sidney Sheldon that I had read and at that time had made a mental note not to read another of her novels. But fate had something else in its mind and I landed up with The Stars Shine Down. Speaking of Fate, the novel does use the
word a lot!!
This is the story of Lara Cameron. As a child Cameron was born in poverty and was brought up by a single father who hated her. So craving for love, Lara soon weaved a web around herself so that nobody could see that soft portion of her.
She heads into the predominantly male domain of real estate and becomes a big success in her home town of Glace Bay. She then moves to Chicago and after striking it big there turns her eye to New York and that is where all her troubles start popping up.
Somewhere down the line she falls in love with a pianist Philip Adler and marries him. And as she tries to make it big in New York she befriends a few unscrupulous people like Paul Martin.
Lara makes a big gamble when she bets her last penny on building the world's tallest building, The Cameron Towers. But things start going wrong, her husband is mugged and left a cripple
for life and suspicion points to her. Some unscrupulous dealings comes up in a casino that she had recently built and one of the ex-employee threatens to bring the dark side of her story to the press in a book on her.
So how does Lara tackle all these? Check out this 350 pages novel from Sidney Sheldon for the details.
Sidney Sheldon has chosen an interesting story for the novel. A beautiful novice in the hard nosed male bastion has a lot of potential. But what let's this novel down is lack of proper research and the totally unrealistic way in which it has been presented.
For starters, Lara Cameron uses the word You are Fired more often than Donald Trump in his Teleseries. BTW, Donald Trump does get a mention in the novel.
Coming back to the novel, the You are fired sequences are meant to show how tough Lara Cameron is but it makes her
look like a real idiot. I mean you just don't go about firing somebody just because he said I had doubts in the beginning and so on and so forth.
Next up, the problems faced by Lara Cameron just seem to vanish everytime just because she is beautiful. So we have Paul Martin playing godfather because when Lara barges into his room he finds her beautiful. Come on!! What is going on here!! Is it kid's stuff?
Again, the ending leaves a lot to be desired. The feeling is the same as I felt in Doomsday Conspiracy i.e. it is a book full of coincidences without any explanation or reasoning.
There are a few moments though which are at least a bit entertaining like the mugging of Philip and the role of Howard Keller, but more or less the book has more cons than pros going for it.
About Sidney Sheldon
Before he became a novelist, he was a screenplay writer and has won a Tony award and an academy award for his pennings. One of his major hits as a screenplay writer was the long running TV Series I dream of Jeannie
He became a novelist with Naked Face
which received an Edgar Award and then went on to write a good lot of novels including The Sky is Falling
and The Best Laid Plans
Another forgetful affair from Sidney Sheldon. I feel it would have been wonderful if he had stayed on with I dream of Jeannie
I would give this novel a two star rating.