“If Tomorrow Comes”, I assert as a forbidden jewel, a masterpiece from the mastermind, Sidney Sheldon. This novel is penned down in such a beautiful way that the flow of the storyline is both mind-boggling and mesmerizing.
The novel was published in 1985, an era when the word “feminism” had not caught its roots even in western culture. Coming from Sheldon’s imaginary world, the novel is centered on a woman, portraying her as the hero, rather than the conventional heroine of the story. Her character in the novel feeds all the pre-requisites of the reader. In fact, it leaves one craving for more of Tracy Whitney, even at the end of the novel albeit being utterly satisfying with the end results of the story.
The plot of the novel revolves around a woman, Tracy Whitney, bewitchingly beautiful, highly intelligent, and successful both in her career and life. She is about to get married into richness and bounty when sudden events unfold in her life, within a matter of a few hours at such a fast and uncompromising pace, that she finds herself brutally trapped in a Mafia scheme and ends up in prison.
From then onwards, the novel moves on, never leaving the hold of the reader, playing with his emotional quotient, and explain unbearable circumstances which give birth and shapes the entirely new personality of Tracy Whitney, emerging as a being full of hatred and vengeance. The events of her imprisonment is painted with such realistic shades of the irony of life, that the reader feels transported right at the scene where all the brutality of imprisonment is taking place. This hits the reader with full force resulting in him involuntarily sides with Tracy, justifying her deleterious actions which take place consequence of her release from jail.
Tracy ends up getting released long before her actual term on showing good conduct and compassion towards the warden’s child which accidentally slips off in the lake. Thus, the situation pushing Tracy to dive in right behind the child to save it from drowning although she herself didn’t know how to swim and risking her own life in order to save the child.
Once released, the first task she accomplishes is to take her revenge on the wicked monsters that destroyed her life. After avenging her predators, Tracy now finds herself again in a pit of darkness and on the verge of helplessness and destituteness; where there is no way further for her, except to welcome the crime world for survival.
The story then takes a sharp twist and takes the reader to a journey of Tracy’s transformation as to how her life changes drastically, giving way to Tracy Whitney, the con artist. Thus, exploring the full potential of her super intelligence, intellect and how she used her magnificent beauty, her innocent looks, her capability to impersonate almost any nationality, and her extensive knowledge in languages in robbing the most elite royalties worldwide. Consequently, she becomes the ultimate catch for Interpol and a matter for life-and-death for the highly academically successful and evil genius inspector Daniel Cooper.
Her spree as a con artist revolves around the whole globe, spinning the brains of the world’s investigative authorities in believing that a gang of beautiful, super intelligent female thieves has attacked the globe, stealing down the valuables from amongst the world’s elite. The narrative continues unfolding a roller-coaster ride of such events where each and every scenario is portrayed in such grandeur of imagination that one cannot help oneself from applauding the wit and genius of Sheldon’s imagination behind conceiving such a masterpiece.
Midway in her journey of unstoppable conquest, she is met and challenged by an opponent, Jeff Stevens, who is equally genius with all weapons of intellect, physical attraction and courage. This unexpected collusion rocked both their worlds simultaneously and another game of wild chases starts off between both the contemporaries.
With this, all hell breaks loose as Interpol alerts the world’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies, devising plans to catch both these mega thieves while they both are on the run to outsmart one another and win the bounties by robbing the highest stakes the world has to offer meanwhile also fighting the inner attraction both feel for one another. As the stakes get higher and reward multiplying in magnitude, this game becomes an addiction to both.
In between all this chaos of constantly moving at a fast pace and pulling off the highest swindles at a given point of time while also making a fool of the world’s intelligence agencies, they both are hired to pull off the biggest heist together. After agreeing to go ahead, they both express their feelings to each other and mutually decides to take this challenge as a last and then to retire consequently to Brazil in the heavens of marital bliss.
Meanwhile, Daniel Cooper is also making sure that he gets successful in catching the duo as salvation to his sins to God and thus making wheels turn around in every possible way to stop them both in their tracks.
As it happens, both the geniuses formulate a plan and successfully pull it off with Tracy taking up to the challenge and escapes death by mere inches in doing so. On the other hand, Daniel Cooper is shown to watch in utter desperation as Tracy boards the plane after successfully completing her task. He taps a ‘good-bye’ to his last chance of catching the most wanted thief in the world and makes sure he has the resignation in his pocket to furnish to the Bureau.
In the last scene, Tracy is coincidently met with Maximilian Pierpont on her flight, her one long-lost target. The end leaves the reader in a trance, guessing what would be Tracy’s next course of action?!?!?!
Lastly, I would conclude that this novel, no doubt, is the best read that I have come across and it tops my list amongst the all-time favorites. A page-turner till the very end.