A violent crime brings together four lives in Danielle Steel’s
sixtieth bestselling novel, the story of a mother’s courage, a family’s
terror, and a triumph of human strength and dignity in the face of
Outside the gates of a California prison, Peter Morgan is released after four long years and vows to redeem himself in the eyes of the young daughters he left behind. Simultaneously, Carl Waters, a convicted murderer, is set on the path of freedom with him. That night, three hundred miles south in San Francisco, police detective Ted Lee comes home to a silent house; for twenty-nine years, he has been living for his job—and slowly falling out of love with his wife. Across town, in an exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood, a mother tries to shield her three children from the panic rising within her. Four months after her husband’s death, Fernanda Barnes faces a mountain of debt she cannot repay, a world destroyed, and a marriage lost.
Within weeks, the lives of these four people will collide in ways none of them could have foreseen. For Fernanda, whose life had once been graced by beautiful homes, security, success, and stunning wealth, the death of her brilliant, brooding husband was already too much to bear. She simply couldn’t imagine a greater loss, until a devastating crime rocks her family to its core—and brings Detective Ted Lee into her life.
A man of unshakable integrity, Lee will soon become the one person who tries to save Fernanda’s family from a terrifying fate. Fernanda must draw on a strength she never knew she had. Racing against time in the underbelly of the criminal world, buffeted by the dark side of power, and unmoored by loss and betrayal, no one can predict where this tragedy will take them.
Danielle Steel brilliantly explores the collision of a shocking crime with the ordinary lives of its victims in a novel that mesmerizes from start to finish. Ransom is at once a riveting evocation of life’s inexplicable turns of fate and a testament to the human will to survive.
About The Author
Danielle Steel is one of the world's most popular authors, with over 560 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Bungalow 2, Sisters, H.R.H., Coming Out, The House, Toxic Bachelors, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death.
A reformed drug dealer, a desperate widow, a bigtime crook and a compassionate cop are the players in this perfunctory kidnapping yarn set in San Francisco. Peter Morgan, a privileged young man, lost everything in a personal war with drugs, including his wife and two daughters. When he is released from prison, he is determined to go straight, but hard times force him to seek out Phillip Addison, a business mogul with many shady operations on the side. Addison makes Morgan an offer he can't refuse: either recruit some fellow ex-cons to kidnap the children of recently deceased dot-com multimillionaire Allan Barnes, or his own kids will suffer. Against his will, Morgan hatches a plan. Meanwhile, Allan's widow, Fernanda, is struggling to make ends meet, since unknown to nearly everyone, Allan lost all his money in bad investments before committing suicide. The San Francisco cops, led by Insp. Det. Ted Lee, find files suggesting that Addison is plotting something, but even heavy police protection can't prevent Fernanda's youngest son, Sam, from being snatched. Lee moves into the Barnes mansion to oversee the search for the kidnappers and watch over Fernanda, but in the end Morgan plays the crucial role in saving Sam. The novel begins slowly, with lengthy introductions to all the principal characters, and never picks up speed, with Steel narrating as if from a distance, glossing over critical scenes and skimping on dialogue. Reluctant villain Morgan is a sympathetic bad guy, and Steel engineers the requisite romance between Ted and Fernanda, but this is thin fare. (Mar. 2) Forecast: A New York Times review of Steel's previous novel, Safe Harbour, hits the nail on the head in pronouncing Steel's books "listless," but when it comes to sales, the author's name overrides all adverse press. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
-- Publishers Weekly
When a violent crime rocks her family, Fernanda Barnes finds her life irretrievably linked to stalwart detective Ted Lee, convicted murderer Carl Waters, and Peter Morgan, an ex-con trying to go straight. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
-- Library Journal
Smooth ex-con kidnaps son of bankrupt dot-com entrepreneur. No one knows that billionaire Allan Barnes lost all his money in the high-tech collapse-his widow, Fernanda, makes sure of that. A devoted mother and a simple soul at heart, she hopes to keep up appearances for the sake of her three darling children, Will, Ashley, and Sam. Fernanda never really wanted to be rich, anyway, or move from the family's modest Palo Alto home. Fame and fortune seem shallow and silly now, ever since shaky deals and staggering debt devoured Allan's empire. The whole truth may never be known-his body simply washed up in Mexico. His suspicious death is under investigation by his insurance company, and she wants to sell their last remaining asset, a palatial San Francisco mansion. Enter Peter Morgan, a socially connected, charming Harvard MBA just paroled after a conviction for cocaine dealing. Gosh, he can't even get a job as a dishwasher. A nefarious acquaintance, Philip Addison, offers Peter a deal of sorts: kidnap one of the Barnes children for an immense ransom. Addison is $30 million in debt, and the villainous Colombians whose money's he's been laundering for years are twirling their mustaches and making sinister noises. What's an ex-con to do? Why, accept Addison's deal, of course, and enlist the assistance of fellow former jailbirds. A lackluster chase unfolds at a snail's pace, complete with a kind but tough detective, Chinese-American Ted Lee, and mom Fernanda in a swiped police uniform at the finale to rescue brave little Sam. Show-and-tell suspenser from Steel, heavily freighted with clumsy exposition. An afterthought romance for Lee and Fernanda is chilly and utterly unconvincing. Agent: MortJanklow/Janklow & Nesbit
-- Kirkus Reviews
"The world's most popular author tells a good, well-paced story and explores some important issues...Steel affirm[s] life while admitting its turbulence, melodramas, and misfiring passions."
"Danielle Steel writes boldly and with practiced vividness about tragedy--both national and personal...with insight and power."
--"The Nashville Banner"
"From the Hardcover edition."
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 25th January 2005
Publisher: DELL PUB
Dimensions (cm): 17.983 x 10.77 x 2.743
Weight (kg): 0.195