FOREVER by Judith Gould


Email this review


Escapist commercial fiction of operatic scale is Gould's niche (Never Too Rich, 1990, etc.), and, here, she claims her stake there again with a wild-ride-of-a-book about a woman who goes to incredible lengths to track down her grandfather's murderers. After Carleton Merlin, a bestselling biographer, is found hanged in his Manhattan apartment, it doesn't take Stephanie Merlin long to figure out that her grandfather's death was no suicide. As it turns out, it was his research into the life of famed German diva Lili Schneider that got him into trouble. What's more, Steph learns that La Schneider, who consorted with the Nazis and supposedly died in the late Forties, may still be alive on an island compound off the coast of Brazil, and sort of well and healthy--if you call ""healthy"" someone who's being kept young by an elixir of enzymes donated by orphan children. The little kids die in the process, but that doesn't faze Lili and her consort, Ernesto da Veiga, one of the three wealthiest men in the world. Steph dumps her boyfriend in New York (a photographer named Johnny Stone) and stages her own death in order to track down Lili and Ernest, winding up on their yacht, where she falls in love with their son, Eduardo. Then it's on to Brazil for a climax at a top-secret Da Veiga laboratory deep in the Amazon jungle, where Johnny Stone pops up to save Steph just as she cracks the case wide open and Ernesto proves to be a little too dumb to live. Gould is a master stager, at the same time bringing to her complicated plot periodic infusions of rough sex (Steph may be a nice girl, but, in this case, nice girls do). It's the Sidney-Sheldon-gone-kinky approach, and here--as in Gould's others--it'll most likely work.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 1992
Page count: 592pp
Publisher: Dutton