Last year, I wrote about Chasing Tomorrow, the sequel to Sidney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes, jumping 24 years forward in time without the characters aging a day.
Now there's a new book out, Reckless: A Tracy Whitney Novel by Tilly Bagshawe, the same woman who's been writing all the Sidney Sheldon titles since the author's death.
In 1980, the still alive Sheldon had a blockbuster hit with Rage of Angels. He later said, though, that one of the biggest regrets of his writing career was (35 year old spoiler ahead) killing off the heroine's son; readers were so upset. When the book became a mini-series, the little boy got to live. Though, in the sequel that wasn't based on a Sheldon book, he did spend some time in a coma from a head injury (the cause of his death in the book). Got that?
Bagshawe, however, decides to kill off Tracy's son (it's not really a spoiler, you figure it out reading the promotional flap copy) within the first few chapters, apparently not having heeded Sheldon's lesson. (Granted, it's not a great loss, as he's a thoroughly obnoxious teenager, no matter how many times Tracy thinks that he's as handsome and charming as his father, and she can't stay mad at him. I don't have that problem. The kid needs some discipline, not a mother who thinks everything he does is wonderful.)
And one other thing: Listen, I've worked in soap-opera for a long time. I get it. Happy Ever Afters are hard if you want to keep the story going. If Tomorrow Comes ended with Tracy and fellow criminal Jeff seemingly on their way to one, but Chasing Tomorrow broke them up for some pretty flimsy reasons. (Two of the world's best con-artists don't recognize a con when it's being played on them?) Reckless continues the will they or won't they, trumping up yet another false obstacle to reunion, even as the characters proclaim they're the loves of each others lives and always will be. It's pretty tedious.
"Tomorrow is the great adventure," Jeff tells Tracy. "And it's coming whether we want it or not."
The next Tracy Whitney adventure may be coming. But I don't think I'm going to read it.