Born in the desert of Western Algeria, Helene was a member of an ancient and wealthy family. Despite her affluence, she was treated as chattel and sold as a child bride to an older man.
Unwilling to submit to virtual servitude, Helene plotted the murder of her husband, then used his wealth to propel herself into the inner circle of the family business. In an effort to save her younger sister from an arranged marriage, Helene sent her to university in France. The sister returned to Algeria pregnant. Desperate to preserve the girls honor, Helene sent her back to France and started a rumor that the girl had been raped by an Algerian rebel leader named Ben-Balla. The child was born in Paris and Helene provided the boy and his mother a home in Brest.
As things deteriorated in Algeria, Helene led in the diversification of the family’s fortunes. When her sister committed suicide, Helene took over the rearing of her young nephew. Eventually Helene became a diplomat and used her connections to establish a complex network of smuggling and crime.
Her nephew became the head of the family’s vast criminal empire but became unstable when his wife and sons died, and he was confronted by a serious illness. Helene raised her great-niece in the seclusion of Barcelona, grooming her to one day head the family enterprise. Helene used her influence in building the modeling and acting career of her great niece, but the girl’s loyalties were divided between Helene and her absent father.
As the treasurer of the Windswept Corporation, Helene struggled to preserve the legitimate family businesses, while her nephew’s criminal empire imploded. When Helene learns of her nephew’s plan to kill the former president of the US, she enlists the aid of an old adversary to stop him.