Sidney Sheldon remains one of the world's handful of top best-selling authors, having sold more than 250 million books. He is also the only writer to have won an Oscar, a Tony, an Edgar and an Emmy, and the latest Guinness Book of Records heralds him as the most translated author in the world. Many of his novels have been made into highly successful television miniseries and he has also written the screenplays for twenty-three motion pictures. He lives with his wife Alexandra in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and London.
Big, broad splashes of action and crude but colorful characters are Sheldon's trademarks, as he demonstrates again in a new novel probably destined to join Windmills of the Gods and Rage of Angels on the bestseller list. The backdrop for this romantic adventure story is the conflict between Basque nationalists and a repressive Spanish government in the post-Franco years. Pitted against each other in a fight to the death are charismatic Basque guerrilla leader Jaime Miro and corrupt, sadistic Colonel Acoca. When Acoca brutally sacks a convent in search of Miro, four nuns escape at the urging of Sister Lucia, who has been hiding in the cloister since taking vengeance on the men who put her Mafioso father behind bars. Beautiful Sister Graciela, tomboyish, orphaned Sister Megan and Sister Teresa, who is teetering toward a breakdown, flee into the forest with Lucia, where they are grudgingly befriended by Miro and his gang. Before crossing Spain to a rendezvous point, the group splits up to more safely evade an increasingly enraged Colonel Acoca. Lucia's predicament presents an amusing counterpoint to suspense, as Rubio, the simple peasant who accompanies her, kindly explains worldly activities to a woman who knows a great deal more than he does. Not a breath of subtlety touches these pages, but goodwill and lively subplots move the book along at a spirited pace. First serial to Cosmopolitan; Literary Guild main selection. (Oct.)