VENGEANCE by Ian St. James


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 Global financial melodrama by the author of the similar The Money Stones (1980) and Cold New Dawn (1988). In 1978, Tom Lambert views a pornographic tape of his wife Kristen and plots vengeance against those who made the tape and drove her to suicide. Flashbacks to 1967 and then forward show us Tom's rise as the sold-out top honcho of Bolton Automation, a typewriter company gobbled up by a seemingly ageless, superhuman Dionysiac billionaire, Maurice Stanton. Angry Tom is summoned for a talk on Stanton's personal island, Kariakos, in the Greek Isles. Most of the rooms in Stanton's resplendent digs feature life-size statues of himself in various stages of sexual congress with his mistresses (he has three thrilling beauties at the moment). Tom is most upset by one entitled FELLATIO, which shows his beautiful guide Melody mouthing Stanton's member, their eyes locked in ecstasy--ashes to Tom, who himself had been feeling erotically hopeful about Melody. As it happens, Stanton's love-life is secondary to his financial life: among dozens upon dozens of companies he secretly owns are three of the world's largest corporations. Stanton wants to combine them at last into Stanton Industries, a gigantic conglomerate, with visionary, 28-year-old Tom as CEO. Tom sells off the new firm's welter of excess companies, focuses on computers. But he finds himself butting heads with the powerful top execs of all three major Stanton holdings, as well as with Stanton's homosexual filmmaker son Roddy. Meanwhile, he marries Stanton's long disaffected daughter Kristen. When Stanton dies, a shareholders' battle pits Tom against his heavyweight rivals and leads to Kristen's suicide, which Tom at first thinks is murder and so plots his vengeance against the nasties. Stanton towers memorably above all--while the movie-of-the- week story moves forward at a gripping if predictable pace.

Pub Date: July 17th, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-027920-1
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991