When a book-launch party turns ugly, B-list celebrity Robin Trainer has to find out who’s targeting her in this latest from former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief White.
Robin is all aglow: A friend has thrown a fabulous launch party for her new book, and she’s the center of attention. Along with a sure-fire best-seller, Robin can lay claim to a reinvigorated career as host of a tabloid-TV show and a fresh start after the dissolution of her marriage. Only thing is, someone keeps spoiling her day by putting nasty notes in her handbag, tearing the covers of her books, leaving battered Barbie dolls on her desk, putting annoying chemicals in her foundation and leaving a drugged brownie for her to ingest. Robin is just annoyed at first, but as the assailant's moves escalate, she finds herself weeding through her friends, suitors and work associates to try to figure out who’s doing this to her before something worse—even deadly—happens. White tries hard to make readers care about the gorgeous, alluring and brilliantly successful Robin, but it’s rough going. The cast is full of stock characters: publicists; an agent; a careless intern; a drop-dead handsome co-star who wants to be more than that to Robin; and an evil stepmother who made Robin’s childhood miserable. None of them ever develops into more than a cardboard cutout; and White—who seems obsessed with clichés—peppers her prose with insider talk that, rather than providing atmosphere and a touch of reality, only serves to make the story less relatable and a little too glib.
Readers who like their reading “lite” may enjoy this glimpse into the world of cable TV, but thriller fans won’t find anything compelling in these cookie-cutter characters and dull, by-the-numbers plot.