Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for A tangled web : a novel
A tangled web : a novel


Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, ©1994.
Physical Description:
476 pages ; 25 cm
Number in series:
In Illinois, a pair of identical twins trade places for a week, the wife becomes a jet setter and vice versa. When the real wife dies in a yacht explosion, the jet setter stays on to continue playing her role of wife and actually falls in love. One day she learns her sister survived and is in the south of France, suffering from amnesia. A sequel to Deceptions.


Call Number

On Order



Glamorous, divorced Sabrina and her quiet homemaker sister Stephanie never dreamed that their light-hearted game of switching places for a week would end in passion and tragedy. But Sabrina fell in love with her sister's husband, cherishing their children as her own -- and Stephanie, in the midst of an affair with a powerful London socialite, was killed in an explosion on his yacht. Torn by loss and remorse, but deeply a part of her new family, Sabrina made the decision to assume her twin's role forever.WhenA Tangled Webopens a year later, only one person knows Sabrina's true identity -- her husband, Garth. Deeply in love, he has forgiven her for her deception. Then a friend swears to have seen Stephanie in Europe. Sabrina feels the past and present collide, threatening to shatter her new happiness. Is her sister really dead? Or is the deception even deeper, darker, and more complicated than she ever imagined?

Author Notes

Judith Michael is the pseudonym of the married-couple writing team of Judith Barnard and Michael Fain. They began their writing career by writing newspaper and magazine articles on family, marriage, and relationships, then they turned to the writing of novels in 1982. Some of their works include "Deceptions," "Acts of Love," "Pot of Gold," "Sleeping Beauty," and "A Tangled Web."

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Michael's sequel to Deceptions, in which an identical twin who has taken over her dead sister's identity learns that her twin may still be alive, spent two weeks on PW's bestseller list. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

The husband-and-wife team that has produced several plump romances (Pot of Gold, 1993, etc.) builds on the best-selling Deceptions (1982), which unfolded the plight of twin sisters identical in degrees of talent, comfortable surrounds, and general gorgeousness. Just for fun, the two had exchanged places (career woman and homemaker) for a week, but in that week, one twin apparently died. Complications thereafter ensued and ensued. Now, a year after the demise of sister Stephanie (erstwhile wife of professor Garth and mother of two), career woman Sabrina, who'd taken on Stephanie's identity, has been forgiven by Garth for the masquerade of Deceptions and now is much in love with Garth, the kids, and her life. Meanwhile, the real Stephanie -- blown into French waters from a yacht where, as ""Sabrina,"" she'd been traveling with Max, a powerful international smuggler -- has been rescued by Max after the explosion (an assassination attempt on Max). But Stephanie has lost her memory and believes Max when he tells her they are married. Back in Illinois, Garth and Sabrina, who now goes by the name of Stephanie, deal with teen problems, an unscrupulous student with murder in mind, and a meddling congressman. In Provence, Stephanie, settled in and growing bored with Max, falls in love with painter LÉon and learns of Max's curious mix of illegal and humanitarian smuggling. Of course, the twins will find each other and begin to deal with the messy consequences of their deceptions. Since Stephanie is addressed by others as Sabrina, and vice versa, it's an eye-crossing go for a while, but there are enough events -- murder, lacy lovemaking, kid crises -- bobbing above the swell of sentiment and droplets of luxury (""She wore creamcolored silk pants...and emeralds and diamonds at her neck and ears and wrists"") to float the reader along. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Michael further entangles the plot begun in her novel Deceptions (1982), about identical twins who decide to switch lives. In that novel, Stephanie, a mother of two children and wife to a professor in Evanston, Illinois, envied her sister Sabrina's glamorous life as an antique dealer in London, and begged for the change. Here, Stephanie's reported death in a yacht sinking leaves Sabrina caught up in her role. Falling in love with and marrying Stephanie's husband seals that fate. This new novel has a dual setting: Sabrina's contented home life in Evanston (marred only by the children's adolescent crises and a congressional witch-hunt involving her spouse's university) and a small town in France, where Stephanie is gradually regaining her memory and living with her "husband" Max, a counterfeiter and smuggler. This plot is tangled, indeed. But the suspense of how these sisters and their loved ones can possibly emerge unscathed from such a fine mess is tightly drawn. (Reviewed August 1994)0671798790Denise Perry Donavin