Three cheers for the career woman. And if she's happiest ignoring all else--especially love and procreation--who's to say she's wrong? That's the sentiment that rises from this new novel by Thomas, author of earlier hits like The White Dove and Bad Girls, Good Women. Harriet Trott Peacock is 30 when circumstances propel her toward entrepreneurial success; she catches her husband, Leo, in flagrante delicto with a dewy young model, then heads off to England's Midlands to track down the man she believes had a long-ago affair with her mother--resulting in Harriet herself. Though agoraphobic Simon Archer claims his relationship with Harriet's mom was purely platonic, he does take a shine to Harriet and gives her a game he devised while a POW in Hong Kong during WW II. So Harriet sets out to market the game, called Meizu, with the help of a handsome venture capitalist named Robin Landwith--with whom she begins a very hot liaison. Meizu sells like hotcakes, but there are rubs, among them lingering doubts about the cozy familial joys Harriet is passing up for the sake of Meizu and the press's pursuit of poor Simon, who eventually commits suicide, causing Harriet worlds of guilt. And when Harriet dumps Robin for a film star, Robin strikes back by wresting Harriet's company from her. But she's only temporarily daunted, soon diving headlong into a development scheme in Kent, which brings deeper satisfaction and a new man. As usual, Thomas' characters have the feeling of real life, though Harriet is perhaps the least lovable of her heroines thus far, since one can't help but wonder about her consuming passion for a game. Unmoving, then, but commercially deft--and likely to draw Thomas' by-now sizable audience.