Dana Evans, who made her first appearance in Sidney Sheldon's The Best Laid Plans, is a spunky, good-looking, young Washington TV journalist who has recently returned to the nation's capital from the Balkans, where she adopted a handicapped war orphan who is having trouble adjusting to life in America. But that doesn't keep Dana from following a story all over the world, from Washington to Aspen, Nice, Juneau, Dusseldorf, Rome, Brussels, Moscow and Siberia. Each of these brief visits is like a postcard--a local landmark or two, an interesting local restaurant (at least in the European venues) and another piece of the puzzle, which has to do with why every member of a venerable, old Washington dynasty has died a violent death in the last year. It seems strange that in a media-savvy city like Washington, no one but Dana has noticed there is a pattern in the rapid extinction of the Winthrops or even whispered the words family vendetta. But that's why pretty, young girl TV reporters were invented, at least by Sheldon.
As Dana sets out to investigate the distinguished career of the Winthrop family patriarch, her lover Jeff, a sports anchor at her station, is called away to administer aid and succour to his former wife, a beautiful model who has realised, too little and too late, that she never should have dumped him. And Kemal, the 12-year-old orphan, is being drugged by his baby-sitter, who is in cahoots with at least one set of bad guys. Dana hasn't noticed how tractable the temperamental boy has become recently because she's been dressing up like a two-bit Russian tramp to infiltrate a secret weapons base in Siberia... Do you hear the words movie locations? But all's well that ends well, as it usually does for Sheldon's heroines, and in the meantime you've learned where the five-star hotels are and what to order in a famous restaurant in Rome. A slick, commercial, slightly thin tale told by a craftsman of the genre. --Jane Adams