VEGAS SUNRISE by Fern Michaels


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 The final installment of Michaels's Vegas trilogy is even more over the top than its predecessors (Vegas Rich, 1996; Vegas Heat, p. 87). Here, matriarch Fanny Coleman Thornton confronts all her old demons and some new ones too as she oversees Babylon, the family casino, with her by now characteristic blend of steel nerves and fluttering indecision. Her four children aren't always a help. Son Birch finally returns from South America with new wife Celia in tow--a conniving gold-digger as everyone (but Birch) knows. Birch's saintly twin Sage is having problems with his equally saintly (and pregnant) wife Iris. Sunny, who has inexplicably been institutionalized with multiple sclerosis despite complete wheelchair mobility and no negative effects to her mental capacity (she's still portrayed as the sharpest Thornton child), wants to marry her also-wheelchair-bound beau. And, finally, Billie, the child no one ever had to worry about, has been sneaking around Vegas incognito in a desperate attempt to conceal her gambling addiction from the family. When Fanny allows her former (and deceased) husband Ash's illegitimate son Jeff Lassiter to take over the day-to-day operations of Babylon, everyone's life is thrown into an utter uproar--especially after Sage discovers (thanks to longtime friends in service as spies) that Jeff and Celia are in cahoots. Meanwhile, the least appealing aspect of this third, and purported last, installment in the saga is that the dead Ash is given one of the leading roles; he appears to all the Thorntons as a vision in times of crisis, doling out advice in his customary crotchety manner. Before his demise Ash was tolerable, but as a ghost he's insufferable. Far too many Thorntons and entrepreneurial schemes (casinos in Atlantic City, free-range chicken farms, fast-food restaurants, etc.) clutter this already jam-packed finale.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-57566-214-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1997


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