DEADLY EMBRACE by Jackie Collins


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Celebrity journalist Madison Castelli’s life is falling apart.

Her father, Michael Castelli, vanishes after being accused of a double homicide: Stella (Madison’s stepmother) and her live-in lover are shot, execution-style. And Madison’s boyfriend, ace photographer Jake, has gone missing while getting the scoop on a Colombian drug cartel. Undaunted, Madison heads straight for a trendy LA restaurant to be consoled by her gay personal trainer and TV-personality best friend. No sooner is the designer water brought than Uzi-toting bandits burst in, ordering Madison and her companions to hit the floor. Maybe someone has it in for Madison? Travel back (and forth) in time occurs as the sordid facts of her parentage are established. Her grandfather is shot and paralyzed in a staged hold-up by a jealous girlfriend, fatally wounding Michael’s sainted mother. The child enters the world as his mother expires, soon showing entrepreneurial promise selling hijacked cartons of cigarettes in his father’s grocery. Siring first Madison, then her half-brother Vincent and half-sister Sofia, Michael is a man of mystery with a heart of gold. Unbelievably handsome and pursued by amorous women wherever he goes, he makes a fortune in Las Vegas from various shadowy deals, though his jealous nemesis stalks him still. Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, Madison contemplates fighting back, manicure be damned. More time travel awaits and further complications unfold: Madison’s mother had escaped from a polygamous Mormon marriage as a virginal teenager, becoming a showgirl and conceiving her daughter in a one-night stand. Meanwhile, back once more at the restaurant, the Uzi-toting thugs get carried away and all hell breaks loose. Can it be that the old (very old by now) girlfriend, the menacing Mamie, is behind this staged hold-up, too?

Preposterous plot, unattractive characters, and crude dialogue make for a lackluster sequel to Lethal Seduction (2001). No razzle-dazzle, no Hollywood cameos, and, worst of all, no shopping.

Pub Date: June 11th, 2002
ISBN: 0-7432-1648-2
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2002


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