Roberts, N. (1989). Sweet revenge. Thorndike, Me: Thorndike Press. 0-89621-931-5
Princess Adrianne of Jaquir is as multifaceted as the jewels she has been stealing for a decade. The daughter of a fallen Hollywood star and a Middle Eastern king, the notorious thief “The Shadow”/ Adrianne plans to avenge the atrocities done her mother, Phoebe Spring, by Adrianne’s father, King Abdu of Jaquir. Playing the part of the very public celebrity philanthropist, Adrianne essentially steals baubles and beads from the fabulously wealthy to give to the poor (charities for abused women, orphans, the destitute, etc). Adrianne aims to pull of The Shadow’s biggest feat, taking The Sun and the Moon, Abdu’s wedding gift to Phoebe. The Sun and the Moon is a phenomenally costly necklace bearing a large diamond (The Sun) and a large pearl (The Moon). Yet, will Adrianne be able to make the biggest heist of the Twentieth Century? Will she be intercepted by Interpol’s reformed thief of legend, Philip Chamberlain?
Like a Western hero/heroine, the thriller’s hero is a loner. Since Adrianne is a cat burglar wanting to make her father pay, she works alone. Adrianne does tell her Godmother, Celeste Michaels, some of what she is doing. However, Adrianne’s alter ego – The Shadow, is kept hidden from all others. When Philip Chamberlain comes into Adrianne’s life, Adrianne does not trust Philip. Sweet revenge definitely falls into the crime/ caper sub genre. The reader is given great detail of how Adrianne goes about relieving people of their jewelry. Due to the fact that Adrianne’s mother, Phoebe, was abused and her wedding gift was kept from her, Adrianne is a sympathetic character. Her efforts to regain what belongs to her mother seems justified. Additionally, Adrianne’s “victims” seem to deserve to have their gems taken.
I decided to read Sweet revenge for two reasons: it was recommended by Saricks and it was written by Nora Roberts. Saricks recognizes the book as a crime/caper thriller. Also, the prolific Nora Roberts knows how to tell a story. Nevertheless, I did not enjoy this book much. In the beginning of the book, Roberts employs sins such as rape and violence to evoke sympathy from readers. Yes, these actions do make Abdu quite despicable and Adrianne appears right in her actions. Such things as rape and violence make my stomach turn. However, I found it sad that Adrianne was so fixated on hurting her father. Also, I did not care for ugly light in which Islam was presented in this book. While Roberts does bring in non-Islamic characters behaving abominably, I found Roberts’ treatment harsh and cruel. I did appreciate that Roberts provided years throughout the book. As in Sue Grafton’s series, the current action takes place in the late 1980s. This book was written in the 1980s and was not hampered by technology. Thus, Adrianne and others had a lot of leeway within the book.
I might recommend this book to people who enjoy Nora Roberts and romantic suspense. While I would prefer to read other books, even some other books by Roberts, I can see that female fans who enjoy page turners would like Sweet revenge.
Two and a Half Out of Five Pearls