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 Pity poor Dan Springer. Even though he's the best ghostwriter in the business, he's still smarting from the time he was bought off by bitchy actress Gloria Farren, who changed her mind and left him with nothing but a generous consolation payment. His marriage to fabulously beautiful heiress Faith Graves (dubbed ``the Fawn'' by her old-money family) is on-again, off-again, and when he's swept off his feet by the megabucks and megacharm of fiftyish screen legend Nina Hardy, he ends up getting treated like a messenger boy by Nina, her pouty law- school daughter Christine, fatcat publisher/perennial Nina-suitor Lew Rhinelander (who may be getting it on again with the Fawn), his feuding brother Claude, and even Nina's other messenger boy, pug-ugly Sonny Corral--an awful lot to put up with for the sake of sharing her bed and the $3.4 million his agent has negotiated for Nina's book. It's a terrific book, too--everybody who gets a whiff of it says so-- so you know that something's going to go wrong, and you keep waiting, waiting, while those fantastic pages pile up and Dan tells Nina how much he loves her and the Fawn walks out and the Rhinelanders circle like vultures and Christine comes on to Dan and Nina (``Please call me Jeanine'') drops hints about the identity of Christine's father. The holocaust, when the pseudonymous Freeborn (The Stark Truth, not reviewed) finally unveils it, is meant to leave Dan shattered by his vision of corruption and loss, but by then he's probably no more indignant than you. Too starstruck to be as nasty as James M. Cain (Freeborn's principal model) or Dominick Dunne, and too shallow to be much of anything else.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-72749-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991


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