General Fiction

By Danielle Steel

Publisher : Delacorte Press (June 2, 2009)


ABOUT Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel
America reads Danielle Steel. And so does the rest of the world. There are more than 570 million copies of her books in print, and every one of her books is a bestseller. In short, Danielle Steel is the most popular author writing today. She is read by women, men, young people, More...


In a spellbinding blend of suspense and human drama, Danielle Steel tells a powerful and unusual story of one woman’s journey from darkness into light, as she fights to escape a mesmerizing sociopath who holds her in his thrall….

Hope Dunne has carved out a name for herself as a top photographer, known the joys of marriage and motherhood, and the heartbreak of loss. In her chic SoHo loft, Hope is content with her life, finding serenity and beauty through the lens of her camera. She isn’t looking for a man or excitement. But these things find her when she accepts a last- minute assignment to fly to London at Christmas and photograph one of the world’s most celebrated writers—an Irish-American author known for novels of thrilling literary darkness.

To Hope’s surprise, Finn O’Neill exudes warmth and a boyish charm. Enormously successful, he is a perfect counterpoint to Hope’s quiet, steady grace—and he’s taken instantly by her. He courts her as no one ever has before, whisking her away to his palatial, isolated Irish estate.

Hope finds it all, and him, irresistible. Finn’s magnetism and brilliance are undeniable. But soon cracks begin to appear in his stories: gaps in his history, a few innocent lies, and bouts of jealousy unnerve her. Suddenly Hope is both in love and suspicious, caring and deeply in doubt, and ultimately frightened of the man she loves. Alone, thousands of miles from home, her mind is reeling. Is she just being paranoid? How many lies has he told? Are there more secrets to come? Is it possible that this adoring, attentive man—like the characters in his novels—is hiding something even worse? The spell cast by a brilliant sociopath has her trapped in his web, too confused and dazzled to escape as he continues to tighten his grip on her.

With razor-sharp insight, Danielle Steel delivers an unforgettable tale of danger and obsessive love. Fearlessly telling the truth, refusing to look away, Steel proves once again that as an American storyteller she has no peer when she explores the dark secrets that sometimes lurk just below the surface of ordinary lives, writing about men and women and their courage to prevail, in this case, even in the face of evil.

Hope Dunne is one of the best photographers in the world, so naturally National Book Award winner Finn O’Neill wants her to do the portrait for his next book cover. Hope goes to London, expecting a photo shoot that lasts a couple of days, tops, but soon succumbs to Finn’s devilish good looks and endless charm. The trip to love is short, and Finn soon talks Hope into staying at his Irish family’s ancestral home. But Ireland isn’t the paradise Hope imagined. Discovering that Finn has told her one untruth after another, Hope has to accept that he is a sociopathic liar. To make things worse, Finn’s thoughtful attentions turn to obsession, and he flies into jealous rages with little or no provocation. Hope knows things could be dangerous in Finn’s country mansion, that she should break free, but he has snared her with good times and great sex. Hope and Finn each have the sort of emotionally packed backstory Steel’s readers expect, while the isolated-woman-in-danger theme gives the novel a modern gothic feel. Steel’s fans will be delighted by this story of a woman seduced by a man who is too good to be true.
--Shelley Mosley From Booklist