HEADLINES by Graham Masterton


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Veteran British writer Masterton (Lady of Fortune, Maiden Voyage, Solitaire, etc.) has written a familiar but more-than-passable potboiler about the wild and woolly goings-on of a sinfully rich Chicago family. Bright, pretty Morgana Croft Tate is celebrating her 21st birthday party as the novel begins--and since she's the daughter of Howard Croft Tate, professionally powerful man and owner of the Chicago Star, her guests include Larry Olivier, Adlal Stevenson, and Groucho Marx. But her father has the best present of all: on his death, ownership of the Star will pass to Morgana. Morgana sets about learning the newspaper biz right away, and does pretty well at it, to the astonishment of hard-as-nails reporter Harry Sharpe, who shows her a little of where the bodies are buried--which in Masterton's Chicago is practically everywhere. She tries to expose evil mobster slumlord Enzo Vespucci--who is burning down his own buildings in an insurance seam that kills and maims ghetto dwellers--but unbeknownst to all, Enzo has something on Howard Croft Tate: Howard's mistress (and the mother of his illegitimate son) is none other than Enzo's sexpot daughter, Marcella. When Howard and Morgana defy Enzo and print headline stories on his sleazy doings, Enzo retaliates by kidnapping Morgana's flighty younger sister, Phoebe; Howard in turn lures Enzo into a trap and kills him brutally, although he loses his own life. The novel ends with Morgana taking over the Star--and Harry Sharpe, who will now report directly to her. A standard Chicago corruption novel, but one that has the rude vitality of a tabloid, especially when it comes to sex, violence, and gossip. The only thing missing is the funnies.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's