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Perfect Harmony by Barbara Wood
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Perfect Harmony (1998)

by Barbara Wood

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So, I read the story in its entirety. So much potential and yet.....

This is a story of family and all that comes with it. The good ,the bad and the ugly. Charlotte Lee is the head of a very prominent and powerful biotech company called Harmony House. She is very rich, she has everything anyone can want, and somethings no one wants, like a crazed maniac setting her up to take the wrap for 3 murders due to lethal doses of her company's produced medicines. We come to find that there are two families involved, the Lee family and the powerful Barclays. The company employs family members from both sides and it is a rollercoaster ride to find out who the reall killer will be.

In comes the wild card. His name is Jonathan. A self made computer hacker, genius, to help Charlotte save the day. With the main story carrying most of the book, we find many little stories. Jonathan and Charlotte are/were and are again lovers. We dive into the Barclay liniage, we dive into the Lee liniage. And all the pieces magically come together at the end......sort of.

On the plus side, Barbara Wood did a decent job explaining all the computer references and the technology. I felt she did an excellent job with the old world traditional Chinese mysticism and conservative values. She inspired me to look into Feng Shi for our new home.

What I did not like about the book is mostly the flashbacks. If this were ever made into a movie, heaven help the script writer who needs to make sense of all of the flashbacks. It took Barbara Wood half the book to set everything up because of all the flashbacks. Predicting what time zone you are in, in this book, is difficult. Charlotte could be making a cup of tea and there would be a flashback, she would be prepared to put sugar in the tea and there would be a completely different flashback. If you were looking at this book on the big screen you would get retinal damage from all the white flashes they would need to put up.

I found the end to be kind of cheesy as well. While I would not give away the ending (for those who may want to read it and want to formulate their own opinion), it reminded me of a line from the movie "Murder by Death" where Lionel Twain stated near the end that readers were sick of reading these mystery novels where characters "were introduced in the last 5 chapters that were never even in the book before." I also thought that Barbara Wood's piecing of the family liniages in this book were iffy at best. I mean, I could hear the cheesy soundtrack going "dant dant dant" when one of the characters admitted that they have kept the family secret for years and "I am not your grandmother, I am really your mother."

I would suggest that Ms. Wood stick to making sure the ties that bind in her stories don't include the love scenes either. OK, so I am a guy and nothing was blown up in this book (well almost nothing, there was a warehouse that caught on fire) and you would think that I am the sterotypical "what's all this mushy love and romance stuff anyway." But I do enjoy a good romance novel, when it is done right. The romantic interludes and explinations in this book were very predictable. You saw the longing and the heartbreak coming for miles.

So in closing I thought this book had a good premise and good potential. It intriqued me enough to stick through it even though my wife Choclaholic had to be a witness to some of periods of disgust. However, the characters were weak. Their relationship with each other was even weaker. It took this side of forever to get things going, and I can safely say that you can see the end of this novel every day on "All My Children" (no offense to those who like the soap opera, its just that this book is as predictable). ( )
  DVerdecia | Jan 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Woodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bronswijk, Ineke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
"We descend from a long line of motherless daughters. Always, at one time in our lives, our mothers guide us from Beyond. Someday you will hear your mother's voice, as I once heard mine..."

No corporation is quite like Harmony Biotech, the ultramodern health products dynasty based on ancient Chinese remedies. And no greater challenge has ever confronted its CEO, Charlotte Lee, than the series of deaths that strike users of its products in a single terrifying week. And because all the victims were known to be her enemies, Charlotte Lee has become a prime suspect.

Her hunt for her nemesis will lead her through the midnight labyrinths of cyberspace--and to a place and a time where today's technology was barely a whisper, where the voices of her female ancestors will lead her to the secrets of her soul. Now, as precious seconds relentlessly tick away, Charlotte Lee must trust instincts deeper than she knows and a wisdom older than her years... as she fights to survive.
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When three people die after ingesting her herbs, Charlotte Lee, owner of a herbs shop in California, guesses someone is trying to destroy her. With the help of her beau, Jonathan Sutherland, she learns of a conspiracy. Lots of background on herbs.

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