TALK by Laura Van Wormer


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A padded, paint-by-numbers stalker tale that takes on the trendy subject of TV talk shows. Jessica Wright’s the host, but (at least in her own mind and seemingly in the author’s) her show’s no tabloid fodder. Instead, the winning, red-haired, amply endowed Jessica fancies herself the heart and soul of the masses, dispensing advice along with personal stories about her own fight with alcoholism and self-destructive behavior. But, truth be told, Jessica’s show sounds just like every other talk show, and Jessica herself like a typically self-obsessed TV —personality,— in spite of her harped-on failed relationships and battle with booze. In fact, all the characters at DBS seem familiar: the Diane Sawyer—look-alike anchor Alexandra, whose dramatic secret turns out to be a not-so-shocking lesbian romance with a young starlet who smacks of Anne Heche; the mousy personal assistant with a fixation on Jessica; and the good-ole-boy producer Will—whose charisma more than makes up for his average looks. When Jessica acquires a stalker named Leopold, it’s no surprise that literally everyone’s a suspect, from the security guard to Jessica’s nearest and dearest, including Will, with whom she’s suddenly fallen in love. The violent death of Bea Blakely, the wannabe assistant, and the preponderance of obsessive love notes addressed to Jessica, have everyone at the station on edge. And so, two professional bodyguards—tough-as-nails Wendy and shady Denton—are hired to tail Jessica day and night. When she’s finally kidnaped, it comes as something of a relief. No surprises here, but Van Wormer (Just For the Summer, 1997, etc.) once again does deliver the goods—the usual thrills, chills, and dazzling wardrobes that fans look for in a lightweight late-summer read.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-55166-317-1
Page count: 384pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1998


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