Sheldon’s After The Darkness
By Tilly Bagshawe
Bagshawe recreates a Sidney Sheldon novel in After The
Darkness. In this novel, she tries to replicate the style and
voice of Sidney Sheldon. She does a good job of using the Sheldon
style of short and punchy sentences and paragraphs that are very
plot driven revolving around the main character, a female heroine
named Grace Brookstein.
young Grace, in her early twenties, marries Lenny Brookstein, the
King of Wall Street, who is more than twice her age. They remain
at the top of society until Lenny’s disappearance. Grace is
convicted of stealing over $75 billion dollars, money lost by Lenny’s
hedge fund company. It is a scenario similar to the Bernie Madoff
incident. After escaping from jail to prove her and Lenny’s
innocence she turns into a Sheldon-like heroine, feminine and gentle
yet strong and powerful.
Bagshawe told myshelf.com that the book has “greed, betrayal,
and vengeance with a bitter sweetness.” What is important
to her is how people react emotionally to the cards they are dealt.
She commented that, “I wanted to make the point in the book
that things could go either terribly right or terribly wrong all
of a sudden.”
powerful scene in the book is her description of how someone’s
life could be turned upside down after a loved one dies. In the
book she notes that “First the flowers stopped coming. Then
the calls. Invitations to lunch or dinner began to dry up.”
Bagshawe told MyShelf that she wanted to depict the emotions of
the characters as real as possible and wanted to show that, "there
are women who allow their husbands to protect them and they are
their world. After a death, then where are you?”
feels she succeeded in making the reader believe it was a Sidney
Sheldon replica novel. According to her, the way she was able to
do this was to “write and research as Sidney did. I pretty
much read all his work, dreaming it, and thought it to get it right.
I tried very consciously to be true to him and sound like his voice.”
characters in the book are likeable and interesting. The only exception
is an FBI agent who becomes obsessed with finding the money and
turns into a psychopathic killer bringing images of The Shining
to mind. I think the plot would have been better served had this
character and the scenes surrounding him not have been included.
After the Darkness will keep the readers’ attention
throughout the entire book, and has a surprise ending they will
not see coming.