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Prodigal Son

Cover of Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son

A Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Twin boys grow up in the same family, in the same town. Dramatically different, they become bitter enemies, even as children. One good, one bad. One leaves his peaceful hometown, but when all else fails, the prodigal son returns, twenty years later. The reunion of brothers, sweet and healing at first, exposes shattering revelations of good and evil. #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel tells a brilliant, suspenseful story of suspicion, betrayal, and a life-and-death struggle for survival. Which twin is good and which is evil, as the tables turn again and again?

PRODIGAL SON

In a matter of days, Peter McDowell loses everything he has worked so hard for--his wealth, his property, his livelihood as a star investment banker. And then it gets worse. The stock market crash not only plunges Peter into joblessness, it causes a rift in his marriage that he cannot repair. Stripped of everything, he has only one place to retreat: a lakeside cottage he inherited from his parents, who left most of their modest estate to Peter's twin. With no other choice, the prodigal son goes home.

A beloved small-town doctor, a devoted family man, and a pillar of his community, Michael McDowell serves others without regard to personal gain. Only Peter knows how Michael manipulated their parents when the boys were young, ultimately driving Peter away. At first, he dreads seeing Michael again. But, to his surprise, their reunion is tender and real. Only later, as Peter mulls over his late mother's journals, does the truth begin to emerge, as realization and panic begin to set in. Who is his twin? Is the façade real, or does something terrifying lie beneath? Imagination or a reality too terrifying to believe?

In a race for time, Peter throws caution to the winds to find the truth. What he discovers will change their lives forever, the lives of their children, and an entire town.

Powerful, poignant, and filled with complex and layered characters, Prodigal Son is a riveting novel of secrets, salvation, and redemption from master storyteller Danielle Steel.

Praise for Prodigal Son

"Fraternal twins raised together [turn] out to be very different and very much in conflict. One twin leaves home, but when this prodigal son returns, is he the evil twin, or is his brother? Steel yourself."--Library Journal

"Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale."--Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Twin boys grow up in the same family, in the same town. Dramatically different, they become bitter enemies, even as children. One good, one bad. One leaves his peaceful hometown, but when all else fails, the prodigal son returns, twenty years later. The reunion of brothers, sweet and healing at first, exposes shattering revelations of good and evil. #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel tells a brilliant, suspenseful story of suspicion, betrayal, and a life-and-death struggle for survival. Which twin is good and which is evil, as the tables turn again and again?

PRODIGAL SON

In a matter of days, Peter McDowell loses everything he has worked so hard for--his wealth, his property, his livelihood as a star investment banker. And then it gets worse. The stock market crash not only plunges Peter into joblessness, it causes a rift in his marriage that he cannot repair. Stripped of everything, he has only one place to retreat: a lakeside cottage he inherited from his parents, who left most of their modest estate to Peter's twin. With no other choice, the prodigal son goes home.

A beloved small-town doctor, a devoted family man, and a pillar of his community, Michael McDowell serves others without regard to personal gain. Only Peter knows how Michael manipulated their parents when the boys were young, ultimately driving Peter away. At first, he dreads seeing Michael again. But, to his surprise, their reunion is tender and real. Only later, as Peter mulls over his late mother's journals, does the truth begin to emerge, as realization and panic begin to set in. Who is his twin? Is the façade real, or does something terrifying lie beneath? Imagination or a reality too terrifying to believe?

In a race for time, Peter throws caution to the winds to find the truth. What he discovers will change their lives forever, the lives of their children, and an entire town.

Powerful, poignant, and filled with complex and layered characters, Prodigal Son is a riveting novel of secrets, salvation, and redemption from master storyteller Danielle Steel.

Praise for Prodigal Son

"Fraternal twins raised together [turn] out to be very different and very much in conflict. One twin leaves home, but when this prodigal son returns, is he the evil twin, or is his brother? Steel yourself."--Library Journal

"Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale."--Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.
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  • Chapter 1

    Peter McDowell sat in his office, surrounded by cardboard bankers' boxes after what had been the worst week of his life. The last month had been a nightmare, not just for him but for everyone on Wall Street. Peter stared at the screen on his desk, which he had been doing since early that morning, and for the past five days. It was Friday, the tenth of October, and stock prices had been plummeting since Monday. It was the worst stock market crash since the Great Depression.

    Landmark events had taken place in recent weeks that had heralded the collapse of the house of cards. Twenty-six days earlier, Lehman Brothers, one of the oldest and most respected investment banks, had filed for bankruptcy, stunning the financial world. Even more stunning was the government's refusal to bail them out, although six months before they had done so for Bear Stearns, which had been bought by JPMorgan Chase. Just before Lehman Brothers' historic announcement, Bank of America had announced that it was acquiring equally venerable and respected Merrill Lynch. Investment banks and financial institutions were staggering like drunks all over Wall Street, and several smaller banks had already closed. And the day after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, the largest insurer in the nation lost 95 percent of its value, and six days later was removed from the Dow Jones.

    And with everyone reeling over alarming daily announcements, Whitman Broadbank, the investment bank where Peter McDowell worked and had established his meteoric career, announced that they were folding as well. Peter had been told three days before, as the stock market continued to plunge. It was hard to wrap his mind around it, as he leaned his head against the boxes on his desk. That afternoon at six o'clock, they were closing their doors. Peter's golden career, and famously high-risk investments, with previously outstanding results, were no more. He was putting whatever he had left in his office in boxes. He had told his wife, Alana, and their boys, Ryan and Ben, the night before.

    "What does that mean, Dad?" Ryan had asked him with a look of panic. He was fourteen years old. Peter didn't dare read off the litany of things that were about to change for them all. Everything had to be sold. The firm had been leveraged to the hilt. The stock that Peter had gladly acquired in lieu of profits or salary on many occasions, and that consisted of most of his personal fortune, was worthless paper now. The house in the Hamptons was history, the time share of a plane, their penthouse on Fifth Avenue, private schools, credit cards, the Ferrari he played with on the weekends and the boys loved to ride in, Alana's Bentley, and the brand-new Rolls. All were expensive unimportant toys and symbols of his success. More important, all of their security and way of life had evaporated into thin air. His money and investments were all in Whitman Broadbank, and whatever else he had had gone down the drain with the stock market collapse in the past five days. There was virtually nothing left, or so little that it hardly counted. Peter couldn't think of a single area of his life that wouldn't be affected by what had just happened to the economy, except his marriage and his boys. Alana had been painfully silent and watched him, as he explained it all to them. But even Peter didn't fully understand it yet. No one did. The day before, Iceland had declared the country bankrupt and closed its stock market, and other countries around the world were watching in panic, as they saw the American stock market fall and implode.

    Peter finally managed to tear his eyes from the screen that had mesmerized him all week. His secretary had already left...

About the Author-
  • Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world's most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina's life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children's book Pretty Minnie in Paris.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 16, 2015
    Perennially popular Steel (Power Play), who is nearing the publishing century mark with her trademark blend of family issues and problematic romances, delivers a contrived tale of suspense centered on twin brothers Peter and Michael McDowell. As a child, Peter is troubled and troublesome. In contrast, Michael, the apple of his parents’ eyes, can do no wrong. Growing up, the brothers are always at odds. Peter eventually finds success as an investment banker in New York, while Michael takes over his father’s medical practice and becomes a beloved figure in the small town of Ware, Mass. After a stock market crash wipes Peter out financially, his wife, Alana, leaves him, taking their two boys with her. Peter moves to Ware, where the brothers have a rapprochement that surprises them both and pleases Michael’s invalid wife, Maggie. When Peter contacts Bill, Michael’s estranged son, Bill shares his misgivings about his father with his uncle. Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale in a family melodrama that only dedicated Steel fans are likely to find of much interest.

  • Publishers Weekly "Fraternal twins raised together [turn] out to be very different and very much in conflict. One twin leaves home, but when this prodigal son returns, is he the evil twin, or is his brother? Steel yourself."--Library Journal "Readers should be prepared for revelations of wickedness on a vast scale."
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A Novel
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