The tepid tale of a prostitution ring—courtesy of —Harvard,— the pseudonym adopted by four alums who've joined forces to serve up a novel set at their august alma mater. Toni Isaacs is a gung-ho reporter for the Crimson who gets a tip from an exotic dancer that Harvard students are moonlighting as prostitutes. Instantly and rather bizarrely obsessed with getting the story, Toni places an ad in a local paper touting an escort service staffed by students. She chats up the many callers who respond and hears rumors about an outfit called Class Ring, which proclaims its university ties by using Veritas-embossed condoms. Toni gets a call from a woman hinting that she wants work, but the caller is in fact from Dora Givens, one of the masterminds of Class Ring. She lures foolish Toni into a trap that culminates in Toni getting busted for solicitation, an episode that jeopardizes her standing at Harvard but strengthens her resolve to get the story. Under the guise of reporting on the company that Dora works for, she conspicuously drops her quarry's name, after which she's approached by a scruffy scientist who seems to want to leak something. But he disappears (is kidnaped?) before their scheduled meeting. A provocative picture pilfered from his mother's garbage leads Toni to a bona-fide student hooker. When she subsequently discovers the dead body of one of her most handsome and charismatic classmates, his diary reveals that he too was a prostitute and that his secret lover was not only a popular professor but Dora's partner in Class Ring. Intrepid Toni has unearthed the far-flung conspiracy. The calculated blend of Harvard ambiance and plentiful sex isn't enough to make this effort fly, however workmanlike. Its characters are uniformly flat and unengaging, and its byzantine plot, while admirably coherent, is too busy and far- fetched to satisfy.
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