Madison Castelli has flown to California to visit friends and get away for a while. The woman she thought was her mother has been murdered, her father has disappeared and her photojournalist boyfriend may have been taken hostage somewhere in Columbia.
Madison and her three friends are sitting in a restaurant catching up on each other's lives when gunmen storm into the place carrying Uzi guns and spraying bullets toward the ceiling.
From there the book takes you back to the beginning. Back before Madison's father, Michael, was born. His father had returned to Italy to try and find the girl with whom he fell in love when he was there during World War II. The girl he dumped spends the next fifty-some years waging a personal war against Vincent Castellani's family, namely Michael. Is she also responsible for the abduction of Madison from the restaurant?
Michael was born as his mother lay dying from a gunshot wound. His life is filled with working in the family store and becoming more and more involved with Vito Giovanni. What Michael doesn't know is that Mr. G's wife was responsible for his mother's murder. It was one of many murders that was never solved.
We meet Dani, the only woman Michael ever really loved. She, too, was born as her mother lay dying. When Dani is thirteen, she, together with her older sister and their handyman, flee their home to go to Las Vegas. Dani goes to work as a maid in one of the hotels where she meets Mr. Giovanni's wife and is hired to be her personal maid whenever Mrs. Giovanni is in town.
The lives of these people are entwined throughout the book. Michael lives with the woman who gave birth to his daughter only to lose her to a revenge killing. The woman he marries and who Madison is taught is her real mother is also killed out of revenge. Michael spends five years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He was once again set up by his father's spurned lover and Mr. Giovanni's wife.
As always, Jackie Collins keeps you turning the pages as you try to unravel the twists and turns. The one main theme throughout the book is the hostage situation. Madison becomes the spokesperson for the hostages. She converses with the authorities and uses every way she knows how to keep the gunmen calm.
DEADLY EMBRACE will make you laugh. It will make you cry. But it will definitely keep your attention and keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. You can always count on Jackie Collins for a good read.