Fern Michaels, Sweet Revenge

Posted October 8, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Sweet Revenge (Sisterhood #5)Sweet Revenge by Fern Michaels
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fifth in the Sisterhood vengeance-suspense series about a group of women seeking satisfaction from a flawed legal system.

The Story
It’s Isabella’s turn and she wants vindication for what her employee, Rosemary Hershey, did framing her for the car accident that killed a family and stealing Isabelle’s designs. Charles has it all planned. Bringing Isabelle back on top and making her appear to be in high demand. Then the bait in the trap. After purchasing the Barrington farm, Myra gets a Kentucky Derby-winning friend to front a request for architects to submit designs for a state-of-the-art redesign of the entire racing operation.

Psychological minefields are laid and the final bit of bait sent. All designed to make Rosemary confess.

The Characters
Rosemary Hershey is a real piece of work without any conscience. I swear Michaels pulled out every stop there is to evil her up. I’m rather surprised that as clever as Hershey was made out to be that she folded so easily.

Bobby Harcourt was Isabelle’s fiancé at the time and a fellow architect in her firm. While it sounds as though he tried to do all the right things for Isabelle at the time, he still was a guy. After being completely shut out by Isabelle, he ended up soaking up all the seduction Rosemary was trying on him and succumbed to her. What I don’t understand is why Isabelle never noticed the efforts Bobby was going through to try and help Isabelle… I do like that he finally chose to get out.

Harry Wong finally makes a real appearance and not just a mention. Jack is having a spate of conscience.

My Take
I don’t understand why Isabella had to lose her architect’s license for being in a traffic accident…ahhh, never mind. We finally find out.

I thought Isabella was already starting to work as an architect again? So why would she be thinking of opening a one-person office?? Then there’s the segue from moaning about her life to smiling about her life becoming interesting again. Just a little bit of a lead-in would’a been nice.

Michaels writes as though she’s removing the bullet points from a list:

“dig out the old files on Isabelle’s case? I have them in the office but I don’t want to pull them out now and draw unwanted attention. The firm has picked up a few more clients through word of mouth from some of our more loyal clients. I’m not going to replace Jenny.”

That’s part of one paragraph, exactly as written. Then there’s the paragraph where Myra is telling Charles all about Nealy and Blue Diamond Farms. Does she have to give us all the back history in one paragraph as bullet points??

This is what bugs me about Michaels’ writing. There is no build up, no leading in to a change of subject. What she does provide is exactly like bullet points in a list. There is no smoothness.

“..the prospect of ravaging my body”??? Really. Ravaging??? Synonyms for “ravage” include “pillage”, “sack”, and “plunder” with an implication of violent destruction.

Jack jumps in a cab and wants him to wait while he checks a building out, identifying himself as the District Attorney. The cabbie wants to know what Jack would have done if he said no and Jack tells him, cheerfully, that he’d have to kill him… Someone explain to me how this works when you’re a DA???

When Isabelle tells Rosemary she’s psychic and she wouldn’t want to know what’s coming. That is the extent of their psychological attack using Rosemary’s obsession with astrology and horoscopes?

In spite of all this whinging on my part, I did enjoy the psychological destruction of Rosemary but I’m not impressed with the end result of this mission. A couple of lines on a tape recorder in which Rosemary confesses to stealing Isabelle’s designs and framing her are supposed to be enough to re-open the accident case? And the major screw-up at the cemetery…oh, brother…Charles may be great on the build-up but I’m not impressed with the let-down at the end or the unimpressive behavior of the ladies.

The Cover
A sweet cover with its open wrought iron gate at the mouth of the gravel drive surrounded by flowering bushes overflowing the wall and the landscape. As for the title, this is the story that should have been titled Jury instead the Sweet Revenge is missing some sugar.

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