Are You Afraid of the Dark

Topics: Sidney Sheldon, The Penthouse Suite, The Conspiracy Pages: 5 (1938 words) Published: March 21, 2013

In Berlin, Germany, Sonja Verbrugge receives an alarming instant message from her husband, Franz. He tells her to flee the house and go to the Artesemia Hotel, a hotel for women only. The message ends abruptly without explanation and the terrified Sonja heads for the Artesemia as Franz had instructed. At a street corner in mid-flight, she is pushed into the street. As if on cue, a double-parked limo leaves its space and heads right for her, knocking her to the ground. A passing ambulance stops for her and as she is strapped onto a gurney, the attendant calls Sonja by name. Before she can react, a hypodermic needle slides into her arm. In Paris, France, Mark Harris waits on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. Within two years young Kelly rises to the top of the modeling profession. In addition to her looks, she possesses an air of untouchability, which attracts men. She returns to Philadelphia to visit her mother, who thanks her for the money she sends every month. Her stepfather, however, makes it clear that Kelly is no longer welcome in their home. Before she leaves town, Kelly visits Mrs. Houston at the library and thanks her for changing her life. Kelly returns to Paris, where she meets a man named Mark Harris. Mark, like many men, approaches Kelly with the hopes of getting to know her. Kelly is put off by him at first, but Mark is persistent, sending her flowers and gifts and finally, a beautiful dog named Angel. Kelly and Diane sit in a coffee shop across the street from KIG. Diane tries to explain that she and Kelly have the same problem and may be able to help one another. Kelly is still reeling from Tanner's insinuations about her dead husband and a woman named Olga and does not really wish to know what Diane might have to say about her husband. When Kelly sees Diane's face on the coffee shop's television and hears her televised image describe the details of Altieri's homicide for the cameras and courtroom, her eyes widen in fear. The not guilty verdict is announced and Anthony Altieri answers the reporters' questions. He indicates that he plans to retire and "clean up a few old debts." Kelly knocks over her..... As Harry Flint waits for the women in the penthouse suite, he recalls office functions previously held there. Three times a year KIG hosts "board meetings" in the suite, which are actually orgies with beautiful prostitutes supplied by Tanner's money. Flint gets turned on thinking about the orgies and plans to take out his lust on Kelly and Diane when they arrive.

Unaware she is walking into a trap, Diane exits the elevator and walks down the hall towards the penthouse. She is momentarily delayed by a bellboy who is blocking the hallway with his luggage cart. In that moment, Kelly gets off the elevator and sees Diane in the hall. They quickly realize that neither of them set up this meeting. They stare at the door to the penthouse...

Now that Kelly and Diane know who their husbands intended to visit in Washington, they decide to visit Senator Van Luven themselves. They call her office from a pay phone repeatedly, until the receptionist finally agrees to give the senator a message. They wait for two hours at the pay phone before it rings. Senator Van Luven is on the line, sounding irritated.Diane quickly identifies herself and explains that her husband and Mark Harris were murdered to prevent them from seeing the senator. The senator recalls seeing their names in her appointment book. Someone had called her office and cancelled the men's visit; afterward she learned they had both died. Diane has Senator Van Luven's attention now. Van Luven instructs them to take the next red-eye to New York....


Diane Stevens
Diane Stevens is a sensitive, artistic soul who has achieved both personal and professional happiness. An acclaimed artist on the New York scene, her still-young marriage to Richard Stevens provides her with a thoughtful, caring...
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