Title : Master Of The Game
Author : Sidney Sheldon
ISBN-10 : 8172234872
ISBN-13 : 978-8172234874
Paperback : 448 pages
The Plot :
Another classic Sidney Sheldon book, Master of the Game spans over 6 generations beginning with Jamie in 1883. The book starts in 1982 on Kate Blackwell’s ninetieth birthday. Her entire family is there to celebrate with her but all of them in truth hate her and feel that she manipulated and changed their course of life. Kate on the other hand thinks that she is the one who was cheated instead and feels that she has done everything in her power to help them. The rest of the book is a flash back from 1883 to the present as she recalls the formation of the company she now owns, Kruger-Brent Ltd.
We are first introduced to Jamie McGregor, who moves to South Africa with dreams of becoming rich, mining for diamonds. He risks his life on multiple occasions to achieve his goal and finally manages to become successful with the help of a Dutch shopkeeper, Salomon Van Der Merwe. Soon he realizes that he has been defrauded by Salomon and is contractually only a labourer for Salomon, not his partner. With the help of a friend he manages to recover his diamonds and changes his identity to Ian Travis.
As Ian Travis, he is recognised by all as a rich and successful businessman. He marries the daughter of Salomon in revenge and she gives birth to a son first, names Jamie Jr., and then a daughter named Kate. Ian/Jamie dies soon, leaving the company to his wife Margaret, who in turn leaves it to Kate who grows up strong-willed and beautiful. She falls in love with her mentor David Blackwell and eventually marries him and they move to New York. Their company begins to grow and branch out to become a global conglomerate under Kate’s leadership.
She and David have a son they name Tony, who wants to be an artist but Kate has plans for him to take over the company she has so painstakingly built. Kate secretly destroys Tony’s career as an artist to further her dream of having him take over the company. When he finds out the involvement of his mother in this, he stands up to her and walks away from the business. Kate later manipulates him into marrying Marianne Hoffman, whose father owns something she covets. The marriage is happy and Marianne becomes pregnant with twin girls, but Marianne dies before the second girl is delivered.
Her doctor tells Tony that he had warned Marianne of the dangers but that Kate told her to ignore them. The incident, along with the coincidental revelation that Kate manipulated and ultimately destroyed his entire art career, drives Tony mad and he tries to kill his mother in revenge. She survives the gunshot wound, but Tony is committed to an institution. Kate is heartbroken that her son felt this way about her but she is determined to survive.
Kate takes her two granddaughters to raise them and names them Eve and Alexandra. Eve grows up to be ruthless and cunning just like her grandmother. She sees Alexandra as a problem to inheriting Kate’s estate in entirety and repeatedly attempts to kill her. Kate clearly favours Eve as the heir apparent to Kruger Brent, but when Eve tries to implicate Alexandra in a sex scandal Kate realizes the truth about Eve and disinherits her, giving her only a small allowance and pays attention to Alexandra.
Enraged, Eve plots revenge against both her sister and grandmother. She meets George Mellis and seduces him into helping her. Eve holds certain secrets over his head and convinves him to marry Alexandra and then murder her. Eve continues to taunt Mellis, and one night he snaps and attacks Eve, brutally assaulting her. She eventually recovers thanks to the work of a talented but mousy plastic surgeon Keith Webster and uses the beating to get back into her grandmother’s good graces. Kate melts and takes Eve back in and puts her back in the will.
Having fallen in love with her, he blackmails her into marrying him. Eve marries him but cheats on him flagrantly with a young actor. When the actor makes a joke about her laugh lines she demands that Webster repair them. Webster deliberately destroys her face and proves to be a master manipulator himself, making Eve completely dependent on him. Alexandra, meanwhile, falls in love with the Templeton; they marry and have a son, Robert.
The book finally ends with at Kate’s ninetieth birthday party, where Robert is 8 years old. She sees him as the next heir to the company but is parents laugh it off. Robert seems to be a talented pianist and his parents encourage him to follow whatever he wants. Kate on the other had different plans for him and sets a new scheme in motion to get her way.
Extremely interesting, this book takes you through a journey with Kate Blackwell. The lead character is a master manipulator and the book follows her different schemes to get her way. It is a page turner and makes for an extremely good read.
Find Out More About the Author : http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/sidneysheldon/books.html
Find Out More About the TV Miniseries Adaptation : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086755/