Perfect Strangers 5 (Pages 224-267)

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SPOILERS!!!

I really didn’t expect the new development in the book!!! It was really surprising!!!

Sophie and Josh go and see Sandrine Bouvier, the wine maker that Nick was working with. The woman admits she had an affair with Nick. Her marriage is not a happy one, and when she met Nick, she couldn’t help herself. In her words Nick was impossible to ignore, and it was him who came up with the idea of forfeiting wine. Sandrine is very talented in wine making, but she is in a world of men, so her talents are not appreciated. The forfeited wine she produces is so good that only experts could tell it wasn’t the genuine thing. Sandrine also tells them that she knew that Nick was going to leave her for another woman. Apparently, he was too preoccupied in the last weeks, and Sandrine checked his phone to see that there were many calls to a woman with the initial A. Apart from the woman’s phone number, Sandrine tells them that she knew that Nick and the woman were supposed to meet at a party.

Sophie and Josh try the number without much success, so their only chance is to attend the party. They dress up to the nines and get to the party. While they’re there, Sophie is not very optimistic as the odds to find A are pretty scarce. Then Sophie realises that they had been calling the wrong number, and what they thought was a seven, it is actually a one. So Josh calls the number while Sophie keeps watching the guests to see if someone answers the phone. She hears the ringing tone, and a woman gets her phone. They have A, and when the woman turns to her, Sophie is shocked. It is Lana, the woman she was house-sitting for.

Then the truth comes out. Lana actually set Sophie up. She orchestrated everything: their first encounter and hiring her, the house-sitting, the tickets for the party, and Nick meeting her on purpose. Sophie was the target all along, and the key is in her father and the Fonzi scheme. Lana tells her that her family was a victim of the scheme, and she knows that Michael Asner and Sophie’s father worked together. Peter Ellis was not just a simple accountant, and he knew where the money that was never recovered from the scam was. Lana thinks that Peter would let a few years pass and the scandal die down before he got the money. Yet, he died, and Lana thinks that the only person Peter could have told about the money was Sophie. That is the reason why the Russians are after Sophie. What Lana doesn’t know is who killed Nick and why. She suspects that maybe Nick had decided to sell the information he might have got from Sophie to others who paid better than Lana.

Sophie is really upset and angry as she realises she has been the victim of foul play. Lana keeps insisting that she must know something, but Sophie assures over and over again that her father never told her anything. Like I mentioned in a previous entry, I think the old book about castles that Peter gave Sophie for her last birthday is the key to this mystery. Somehow the book must have the information to locate the money.

The book is getting more and more interesting. I am curious to know how the mystery of the hidden money is resolved. Maybe the money is in a castle, just like Sophie’s childhood fantasies. I also like how Josh feels so outraged and protective on Sophie’s behalf. Sophie is not indifferent either, so it is clear that these two will end up together.

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