Keep up the pace

Keep up the pace

Keep up the pace

It’s a dangerous world out there. A terror organisation, calling itself Group 99, is hell-bent on creating mayhem in the world. The organisation that started out with the ‘noble’ intent of being modern day Robin Hoods by targeting big business interests on behalf of “the dispossessed”, changes its colour overnight with the shooting of a British military hostage. Now the responsibility of rescuing Hunter Drexel, an American investigative journalist, also held hostage by Group 99, rests with both the UK and US governments.

But it is easier said than done as the rescue operation fails miserably and Hunter Drexel manages to escape from both the rescue team and his abductors...

Thus begins the action-packed Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless, the third in the Tracy Whitney series, which takes its readers on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Sidney Sheldon’s popular protagonist Tracy Whitney (remember her from If Tomorrow Comes and Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow?) is back here as a regular mother whose sole purpose in life is to care for her only son, Nick. This one-time con artist, jewel thief and computer wizard is quite confident that she’s put her past to rest for good, and moved on. But, it’s hardly so, as she soon realises. For, the wily, wealthy woman pulling Group 99’s strings, known as Althea, wants Tracy back in the game, for her own reasons.

So we soon see Nick meeting with a tragic accident that proves fatal, shattering all of Tracy’s dreams. With nothing more to lose in life, Tracy is easily lured by the CIA in its Althea-hunt, setting the ball rolling for the thrilling cat-and-mouse game. After all, CIA manages to convince Tracy that Althea is behind Nick’s death.

And, of course, there’s Jeff Stevens, Tracy’s one-time working partner, husband, and the father of Nick, enlisted by the M16 to follow Tracy and outsmart her in her Althea-chase. For, M16 wants to find Althea and Hunter Drexel before the CIA.

Alongside, Tracy meets mining baron Cameron Crewe, to know more about Henry Cranston, another mining baron, who is killed by Group 99. Unlike herself, Tracy is easily taken in by Cameron’s charms. The fact that he is also grappling with the loss of his teenage son draws her closer to him, much to Jeff’s consternation.

With several sub-plots running parallelly, the story takes interesting twists when the needle of suspicion is pointed at each one of them, in turns. But it’s Tracy, and she’s not the one to be bogged down by doubts and uncertainties. As the mystery elements of the plot develop, Tracy seems to be consumed by the very dilemmas she seeks to resolve, while Jeff is caught between his love for Tracy, and the assignment he’s taken up with M16.

Who finally triumphs? Tracy or Jeff? What about Althea? Is she the one behind Group 99’s terror strikes around the world? Is billionaire Cameron Crewe’s interest in Tracy sans any expectations? And, of course, why is Hunter Drexel on the run? Well, you have to read Reckless to find out. The truth is uncomfortable, ugly, and will possibly rob you of your sleep for a little while anyway, and maybe that is the book’s biggest success.

Proceeding at a frenetic pace, Reckless proves to be a page-turner right from the word ‘go’. There’s action, mystery, drama, romance, and above all, politics. All the ingredients seasoned Sidney Sheldon fans have gotten used to.

On the flip side, however, I have to admit that, for this genre, Reckless isn’t as unputdownable or breath holding as it could have been. I still miss Sidney Sheldon...

Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless
Tilly Bagshawe
Harper Collins
2015, pp 405