Walker (Nicole Brown Simpson, not reviewed), gossip columnist for the National Enquirer, knows that a big dish of a tabloid, vice-ridden novel—the bloodier the better—won’t kill you. On the seventh floor of a Beverly Hills Hotel, producer Noel Gold hurls fabulous thunderbolts of persuasion at Meryl Olivier, the world’s greatest actress, to get her to sign onto his new high-voltage flick, Die Faster 5, with Ronnie Foster, the new Bruce Willis smirk-alike. What he doesn’t know is that Steve Bellini, editor of the National Revealer, who has a room nine floors above Gold’s, has dangled an electronic spy outside Gold’s balcony and is hearing every word. Then Bellini’s body suddenly lands on Gold’s balcony, along with all the breakfast silver and plateware on his serving cart. Has Bellini been murdered because he was pursuing the ultrahush story of top Italian star Case Burton’s having AIDS and, in revenge against women, stepping up his sex life and riding all his conquests bareback? Or is the real story about bad girl Charmain Burns, the novel’s slightly psychotic romantic interest, who will do anything to play Medusa, the young actress who can turn male hearts to stone, in the smash TV show BevHills High? National Revealer’s Cameron Tull, America’s best-known gossip columnist, wants to know all about Charmain, who’s threatened to launch a $300-million suit against Bellini and who we meet when she walks naked into a roomful of friends and lies down on a table, ready to undergo The Ritual. When Charmain finds herself trailed by Randak 2000, the stalker from planet Kaldan, her hired guard can’t save her. And what about Tull’s full-tilt obsession with the viscerally beautiful, raven-haired Charmain? Is he really only out to solve Bellini’s murder? Outrageously, the last third is presented in draft outline, like a treatment being pitched to a studio, a move that takes guts but gives the novel full tabloidal snap.