THE BAD WITNESS by Laura Van Wormer


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Sally Harrington again, in and out of the witness box.

Van Wormer serves up an exhausted, scraped-together hash of the last titles featuring TV producer Harrington (Trouble Becomes Her, 2001, etc.). For those new to the story: mob goons muscled in on a national media union, triggering a mob family feud and several murders. Egged on by her publicity-hungry boss, Harrington reported on the case while stepping over the bodies and dodging bullets right and left. Now on the stand in a Los Angeles court, she explains in numbing detail exactly what happened in the Presario/Arlenetta/Small murder case. Wearisome stretches of court-transcript-style dialogue are interspersed with recaps and seemingly random resolutions of previous subplots featuring Harrington’s long-suffering mother, dead father, even her cute mutt. But the intrepid and relentlessly talkative sleuth has acquired a new pet: a sexy cop assigned to protect her from the thugs out to shut her up forever (readers will sympathize). Paul Fitzwilliam is a stud with a conscience, and he too dithers on and on, mostly over the morality of bedding Sally, who has a few qualms of her own about the arrangement. It just doesn’t seem fair that Paul should end up in the hospital because someone’s gunning for her, though he does look even more delectable with a few bandages. He doesn’t think it’s fair that an aggressive attorney is insinuating a lesbian involvement between Sally and the famous actress at the heart of the case. Alexandra Waring, her boss at DBS Broadcasting, doesn’t much care what Sally does behind closed doors—she’s preoccupied by her own clandestine affair with an English noblewoman. Ultimately, Alexandra hopes to get photogenic Sally on the air in a big way, perhaps as a talk-show host or an anchor. Etcetera, etcetera. The trial inches toward a not-exactly-surprising verdict—a scoop that Sally gets to deliver to the waiting world.

Enough already.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-952-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2002


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