Sam Roffe, the president of the largest pharmaceutical company in the world - Roffe & Sons. recently died in a mountain climbing accident. That left his only child Elizabeth Roffe to be his sole heir.
His other board members consisting of four people (Sir Alec Nichols, Walter Glassner, Charlie Mattel, Ivo Palazzo) had always wanted to make the company stocks public, each of them desperate to gain monetary wealth for their own personal reasons. Yet Sam Roffe insisted that only people carrying the Roffe's bloodline or their spouses could control the company.
Elizabeth found a confidential letter from her late father's belongings. It was an investigation about the many different accidents in the company and that it was concluded that they were intentional, plotted by one of the board members. It was intended to destroy the company's image and incur more debts, which in turn would force Sam Roffe to sell the company.
Determined to find out who the mastermind was, Elizabeth refused to sell the stocks as well. Being inexperienced with the business led her to rely on her father's right-hand man Rhys Williams, who had also wanted to own part of the company but was unable to do so since he wasn't a Roffe.
Her decision made her a target of assassination plots. And she had to find out soon who the responsible person was, as the bank loans could only hold so little time for the company. A murder attempt, as well as several mysterious cases of a serial murder that may be interconnected, alerted the police detective Max Hornung, who was as determined as Elizabeth to find out who the culprit was.


The story not only focuses on the protagonist, but also on the different members of the board. In fact, a third of the book is dedicated to telling about each of their background. I love those mini stories, though at first it can be quite confusing with all the names and places being mentioned. Even the story of the pioneer of the company, the great grandfather of Elizabeth, is included in the novel, which by the way, is my favorite of all.
Those mini stories are of course interlinked. As I read, I am already sure of the potential of a wonderful development of the plot. Yet as I reach there, I feel it lacking. The last part of the novel doesn't measure up with the engaging beginning.
Unlike the earlier book I've read from Sidney Sheldon, Windmills of the Gods, this book focuses more on the characters. In fact, I like the characters here more than the other novel. They are interesting and colorful.
In the end, the mystery is revealed yet I don't find the explanation very convincing. It is cut short right after the climax. So I am left asking more questions - as not everything fits into place. And as much as the characters are introduced with rich details, the ending part is as lacking in explanation.
I still find the book entertaining nevertheless. I consider it my favorite Sidney Sheldon novel so far. The first part is beautiful enough to save the book's flaws.
If you are all about the story of characters, give this book a go. An interest in company politics will also spark your interest in the book.


Bloodline Lyra Kua 2014-09-04 4.0 0 5
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(price as of Dec 23, 2015)
Author: Sidney Sheldon
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 464
Year: 1977