/ Sidney Sheldon
o political history. But none o that mattered once you saw the view.Spectacular didn’t begin to cover it. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided apanoramic vista o London, rom the towers o Canary Whar in the eastto the mansions o Chelsea in the west. It was a view that said one thingand one thing only.Power.And it was all hers.
I am the
home secretary o Great Britain. The second-most-important member o Her Majesty’s government.
How had it happened? How had a junior prisons minister, and adeeply unpopular one at that, leaprogged so many other senior candi-dates to land the big job? Poor Kevin Lomax over at Trade and Industrymust be spitting yellow, coee-stained teeth. The thought made AlexiaDe Vere eel warm inside.
Patronizing old ossil. He wrote me o years ago
but who’s laughing now?
Pilloried in the press or being wealthy, aristocratic, and out o touchwith ordinary voters, and dubbed the new Iron Lady by the tabloids,Alexia De Vere’s sentencing reorm bill had been savaged by MPs onboth sides o the house or being “compassionless” and “brutal.” No-parole sentences might work in America, a country so barbaric they stillhad the death penalty. But they weren’t going to fy here, in civilizedGreat Britain.That’s what they
But when push came to shove, they’d all votedthe bill through.
Cowards. Cowards and hypocrites the lot o them.
Alexia De Vere knew how unpopular the bill had made her, with col-leagues, with the media, with lower-income voters. So she was as shockedas everyone else when the prime minister, Henry Whitman, chose to ap-point her as his home secretary. But she didn’t dwell on it. The act was,Henry Whitman
appointed her. At the end o the day, that was allthat mattered.Reaching into a box, Alexia pulled out some amily photographs. Shepreerred to keep her work and home lives separate, but these days ev-eryone was so touchy-eely, having pictures o one’s children on one’sdesk had become de rigueur.There was her daughter, Roxie, at eighteen, her blond head thrown