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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Trophy Wife by Diana Diamond

The Trophy Wife The Trophy Wife by Diana Diamond

My review

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Walter and Emily Childs were married for years. Their family included two teenaged children, a boy and a girl. Walter Childs worked as a senior vice-president at InterBank. He was in line to be promoted to the top spot at the bank when the current chief executive officer retired. Walter had decided to secure that position and then leave his wife, Emily, and marry Angela, a graduate of Harvard Business School and a woman he'd begun mentoring when she started work at InterBank. Angela was young, beautiful, smart, and she was the person Walter wanted by his side as he took over the CEO position for which he'd been preparing himself for years. It wasn't that he didn't care about Emily; it was a matter of Emily's no longer being suitable as the person with whom Walter wanted to share his new life as CEO. Walter believed Angela was the better choice as a "Trophy Wife" to share his future.

And then Emily was kidnapped for a $100 million ransom which Walter was supposed to arrange to deliver to her captors through funds he'd route from InterBank to a secret account in an offshore account. Whoever took Emily had arranged for various people to be involved in her abduction. None of the participants knew each other, nor did they know for whom they were working. The point was for no one to be hurt so long as Walter followed the instructions he was given to get the money to whomever had taken Emily.

Banks have policies about the abuction of its employees' family members. Even though Walter knew what this policy was and that he could not expect the bank to willingly arrange for the ransom demands of his wife to be paid, Walter enlisted the help of the bank security officer to try to get Emily back with or without the transfer of the money. It was at that point the story got more complicated. Emily's life was in serious jeopardy, and while Walter was concerned about her safety and wanted her returned unharmed, he also was worried about what his compliance with the kidnappers would do to his chances of moving up in the bank's hierarchy. He was not willing to consider that his future with the bank was in jeopardy because of this development.

Diana Diamond has written an absorbing story with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader unsure of who is behind the plot to kidnap Emily Childs. Another interesting aspect to the story is the relationship between Walter and Emily. What makes a man decide that the wife who has stood by him over the years giving him the support he needed and often putting his concerns before her own is suddenly incapable of continuing to share his successful life with him? What makes such a man betray his family by so blithely deciding that what he must have to secure his future is a "Trophy Wife"? What I particularly liked about Diamond's treatment of this material was that she did not turn to the cliched version of this age old situation with the typical husband-dumps-wife-for-younger-woman scenario. Instead, Diamond gives a more grown-up version of this kind of situation which serves to make this book hard to put down. I'm interested in reading more of Diana Diamond's work.

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