England, 1922. Wealthy New York banker Paul Van Zale decides to entertain himself by investing in Dinah Slade's cosmetics enterprise. Despite the great difference in their ages, the two begin an affair, but Paul's past *sins* eventually call him back to his wife and the cut-throat world of Wall Street (and maybe a gangster or two). I'm in a bit of a review slump and not up to a full blown recap of events, so I'm keeping this short and sweet. Paul and Dinah have plenty of ups and downs and dirty dealings, plus there's his wife and his heir and nephew to deal with. The book begins in 1922, and the banking focus gives the reader a real inside look at the stock trading bonanza of the late 20s, plus a chilling look at the crash of 1929. Fans of big fat juicy family squabbles should put this one on their list, and as always Howatch excels at the alternating first person POV. She should give lessons to today's writers...***slightly spoilerish going forward, so I'll mark with the spoiler tag even though I'm not spoiling.Readers familiar with Howatch's books know she'll tie her characters and story with parallels to real historical people events. Penmarric, Cashelmara and Wheel of Fortune parallel the Plantagenets of England. The parallel this time around is that of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. How she ends up that sordid little mess, you'll just have to read for yourself. FTC disclosure: purchased at a charity book sale.