Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, and by the age of twenty was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. In 1979, her first novel, A Woman of Substance, was published. That enduring bestseller was followed by fifteen others. Her novels have sold more than sixty-one million copies worldwide. She lives in New York City with her husband, producer Robert Bradford.
Teenager Katie Byrne and her two best friends, Carly and Anne, always aspired to be actresses; they spent many hours reenacting roles in famous plays. But their dream is shattered when Anne is murdered and Carly is beaten into a coma. This tragedy now pervades every aspect of Katie's young adult life. She feels guilty as the sole survivor and harbors a fear that someone is stalking her. Nevertheless, Katie turns to acting and eventually is offered a role on Broadway. The first part of the novel is the most compelling, with the account of the attack and its aftermath along with the police investigation. As Katie travels to London, then to Broadway, and back to her home in Connecticut, the disaster in her early life seems to demand resolution. Reader Kate Burton nicely captures both the American and British accents of the characters. Recommended for general fiction collections. Catherine Swenson, Norwich Univ., Northfield, VT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
For Barbara Taylor Bradford: 'The storyteller of substance' The Times 'Queen of the genre' Sunday Times 'Few novelists are as consummate as Barbara Taylor Bradford at keeping the reader turning the page. She is one of the world's best at spinning yarns.' Guardian
Long celebrated as a bestselling chronicler of women's lives, Bradford adds a mystery twist to her latest tale of romantic suspense. At 17, Katie Byrne and her lifelong best friends, Denise and Carly, share a passion to act on Broadway and plan to move from their mid-Connecticut town to New York after high school graduation. One day, Katie's early departure from their daily after-school acting rehearsals in Denise's uncle's barn saves her from a brutal attack on the other girls. With Denise dead and Carly in a coma, Katie fears she'll be the next victim, and for a time, acting loses its appeal. Ten years later, the murderer is yet to be found, Carly remains in a coma and Katie has picked up the pieces of her life and moved to London, studying in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. When she's offered the part of Emily Bront‰ in a play bound for Broadway, she realizes it's the chance of a lifetime. But she's apprehensive about returning to face the ghosts of her past and hesitates to fulfill her childhood dream without her best friends to share it. Bradford sets a quick pace by introducing tough police detective Mac MacDonald, aka Mac the Knife, and by showing how Katie and her family dealing with the tragedy. The second half falls off, however, reverting mainly to inner dialogues and Katie's doubts about her ability to perform on stage. A too convenient, totally unmotivated solution to the murder caps the curiously thin narrative, in which Bradford never fully renders her characters. This is a fast but shallow read, perhaps satisfying to Bradford's fans but not a significant milestone in her career. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.