Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Sidney Sheldon’s After The Darkness

By Tilly Bagshawe

     Tilly 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.

A 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.

Ms. Bagshawe told 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.”

A 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?”

She 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.”

The 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.

Overall, After the Darkness will keep the readers’ attention throughout the entire book, and has a surprise ending they will not see coming.

The Book

William Morrow / an imprint of Harper Collins
May 25, 2010
978-0-06-172830-3 / 0061728306
Fiction /Mystery
More at

The Reviewer

Elise Cooper
Reviewed 2010
© 2010