COLD BLOOD by Lynda La Plante


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 Page Investigations, the limping brainchild of alcoholic ex- cop Lorraine Page (Cold Shoulder, 1996), is about to go belly-up- -unless Lorraine and her buddies Rosie Hurst and Bill Rooney can find missing heiress Anna Louise Caley. The make-or-break case is a special challenge because Anna Louise, who grew up in Los Angeles, disappeared from New Orleans 11 months ago, right after a bare-knuckles fight with her best friend, Tilda Brown--and the ground's been endlessly trodden since then by the police and every shamus with an eye for a $100 million, the size of poor Anna Louise's trust fund. But Lorraine (an obvious Demi Moore role) talks her way into a two-week trial run, with a big fee up-front and a million-dollar bonus if she produces the missing teenager dead or alive, and promptly settles down to dig the dirt on the family circle. She convinces herself that self-dramatizing actress Elizabeth Seal Caley is injecting herself with Temazepam; that her developer husband Robert has one eye on adultery and the other on that idle trust fund; and that Anna Louise herself liked kinky sex as much as the next young American miss. Though her employers are less than overjoyed at these revelations, Lorraine, her associates still in tow, tags along on the Caleys' return trip to New Orleans, where she'll find a heady mix of gambling, voodoo, and an alarmingly industrious family of hardscrabble crooks. Despite the wholesale debauchery, La Plante's stilted dialogue and her heroine's nonstop attitudinizing (flirting, pining, and accusations seem to be her only weapons) kill any momentum, even when the gumbo hits the fan and corpses begin to spring out of the backdrop in every third scene. Overstuffed, overemotional, and unforgivably overlong. A better bet for a fun evening or two would be your nearest AA meeting. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-679-44104-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1997


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