The story focuses on a turbulent relationship between Tom Sanders, an executive in a high-tech company, and Meredith Johnson, an ex-lover promoted over him. Meredith is from out of town and from what Tom remembers, had little technical expertise for the job.
Tom has too much to lose by complaining. He could make millions if the company went public but it isn't enough for Meredith. She wants to be rid of him and sets in motion a plot to destroy him and his reputation, his family, and his career by claiming he sexually harassed her although it was the other way around.
Through a neverending series of twists and turns, Tom and his lawyer uncover much more about Meredith's intentions to destroy him by looking at her past and her relationships with other employees. Tom has to put the pieces together to deliver a crushing blow to Meredith's story before he is shamed out of his job and potential fortune. As his relationships with colleagues dwindle, he is given clues by an anonymous tipster on how to solve his predicament.
I absolutely loved this novel. The premise is a simple one but written with speed and deliberation.The theme is outstanding and the novel was turned into a movie starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas.
At the heart of the novel is a woman accusing a man of sexually harassing her, but it's the other way around. All Meredith had to do was to accuse a man of doing it, and her employer and public opinion automatically sided with her. Tom's life fell apart because of an accusation rather than what happened. And I think this is the world we live in today. A single, false accusation can destroy lives regardless of the person's innocence. (Here's some tips from Dr Phil.)
Crichton used this simplistic understanding to put Tom in a position of guilt regardless of what he had done. It makes a good read because it's difficult to see how he can turn the problem around in his favour. After meeting his solicitor there's light for the reader. She's clearly the right person for he job, and Tom knows he has to surrender to her to have any chance of winning.
One fact remains which is a presiding fact in Michael Crichton's "Disclosure": an accusation is all it takes. I think this story will remain with me for a long time to come.