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Three and one half moon gifHarperCollins (Hardcover), ISBN 0060198346
Thirty-one years ago eight publishers turned down Sidney Sheldon's first novel, The Naked Face, before Morrow Publishing took a chance on him. Now 300 million book sales later, the Sheldon and Morrow team continues to turn out commercial best sellers. Sheldon's 17th and latest novel, The Sky Is Falling, draws readers into an over-the-top fantasy adventure in the true Sheldon style.

Book: Sidney Sheldon, The Sky Is FallingPublisher's Weekly calls Sheldon's prose "efficiently brisk and reliably suspenseful." How true. This frugal wordsmith reduces his books to dramatic dialogue and action. Each word, each paragraph propels the story along the daring and twisting roller coaster ride he calls plot. Because of his parsimonious use of adjectives and narrative, readers picture the people and events colored by their own imagination. This makes it that much easier to translate a Sheldon opus to film -- a consummation that must please Sheldon no end. Sheldon attributes his sparse style to writing screenplays and television scripts (28 screenplays and 250 TV scripts, not to mention eight Broadway shows).

In The Sky Is Falling, TV newswoman Dana Evans returns to Washington, D.C., from an assignment covering the fighting in Sarajevo. With her she brings Kemal, a pre-teen war victim whom Dana plans to adopt.

Book: Sidney Sheldon, Memories of MidnightKemal works hard to adjust to America culture and recover from the ravages of war. He struggles to learn to live with one arm and to endure the abuse from two-armed bullies. And he worries about losing the one person he allows himself to love, Dana Evans.

Dana's first post-Sarajevo assignment involves interviewing Gary Winthrop, the sole survivor of a Kennedy-esque clan. When Gary dies, Dana appears to be the only person in all of Washington, D.C. (not to mention network journalism), who finds it strange that not only Gary but five members of his family died violently over the past year.

Dana follows her hunches and not only uncovers the link between the deaths but the conspiracy behind them. The suspense builds as Dana jet-sets around the world in pursuit of the story's heart-pounding, near-death ending.

Sheldon offers a gratuitous love triangle involving Dana, sports anchor Jeff Connors and his ex-wife as a token romance and additional plot element -- a plot element that reads like an author's afterthought. Despite this weakness, Sheldon pulls off another action adventure, a 750,000 first printing and captures the spot as Literary Guild and Doubleday's main selection.

Although Sheldon believes his characters provide the strength of his stories, I find his plots and their exotic and international excitement keep me reading. In The Sky Is Falling, Sheldon again weaves his magic so readers can suspend disbelief and embrace the adventure. No one tells a tale quite like Sheldon.

Dawn Goldsmith

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Readers Respond:

I have read the latest novel of Sidney Sheldon, The Sky is Falling, and I must admit that I was spellbound! The plots were exciting and mind-boggling. I just can't put the book down! It's a definite must-read!!! Go get a copy for yourselves. It's worth it!

Christine C. from the Philippines

Just a note to say how much I liked Dawn Goldsmith's review of Sidney Sheldon's book, The Sky is Falling. Years ago I read all of Sheldon's books, and have moved on to many other writers since then. That's life. Because of Ms. Goldsmith's review, so clear, concise and well written, I shall go out and find Sheldon's new book. Thanks, Dawn.

J. Fox