Only veteran author Danielle Steel can make dysfunction this fashionable! In Malice
, her 37th potboiler, the gloves come off. Life is no fairy tale for teenager Grace Adams. The preternaturally quiet and dowdy daughter of Watseka's favorite son, lawyer John Adams, and his lovely, cancer-stricken wife Ellen, Grace has an ugly little secret that she's kept for four years. When her father brutally rapes her following her mother's funeral, Grace kills him. Only 17 years old, she faces the death penalty in a town all too willing to perpetrate the fiction of John Adams, even when it means prison for Grace. Upon release two years later, Grace heads for Chicago where life starts looking up when she finds a job as a receptionist in a downtown modeling agency. Unfortunately, Grace encounters an unscrupulous photographer and a slimy parole officer. As soon as her parole is over, Grace escapes again, running to New York City to disappear among the hordes. Working as a secretary in a law firm, she's asked to work for a partner. After a rocky start, Charles Mackenzie and Grace establish a comfortable routine. But when Grace is brutally beaten by the husband of a woman in the crisis center where she volunteers, Charles is at her side constantly, arranging for the finest medical care and talking her out of her coma. Love blooms as Grace slowly recuperates. Finally whole again, inside and out, Grace and Charles marry and start a family. Life couldn't get much better as Charles enters politics and Grace tends to their growing family. But when tabloids release the story of Grace's sordid past and explicit photos of Grace taken while she was drugged, their family is left reeling, with Charles's campaign in shambles and Grace's life crumbling around her. Danielle Steel doesn't even pretend that Malice
is a piece of romantic fiction, but loyal fans will happily make the transition as she charts a new course! --Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
Sexual abuse in myriad forms imbues Steel's new novel with uncharacteristically dark tones. The narrative covers more than 20 painful years in the life of Grace Adams, an incest victim who, at age 17, shoots dead her abusive father. Sent to prison, Grace is rescued from a lesbian gang-rape by a pair of women who provide protection during her two-year sentence. Once released, she heads to Chicago, where she lands a job in a modeling agency, only to be sexually harassed by a series of men, including her parole officer, her boss and a wicked photographer. After her probation ends, Grace moves to New York; there, she works as secretary in a major law firm and volunteers in a shelter for abused women. Steel is careful not to let the nearly fatal beating that follows mar her heroine's good looks, or future. Grace emerges from a coma to find handsome Charles Mackenzie, her high-powered lawyer boss, at her bedside. A happy ending?which follows some satisfying vengeance on Grace's part?doesn't minimize the aura of victimization that surrounds this heroine. Only in a Danielle Steel novel would a 19-year-old ex-con show up at her first job interview in a "little Chanel knockoff" suit?but neither pseudo-high fashion nor the high-handed conclusion keep this yarn from being, ultimately, a big downer that earns its title in more ways than one.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.