An advice columnist’s long-awaited promotion to the features section begins with an article about a late rock icon’s possibly murderous family.
Tired of addressing the romantic woes of readers who couldn’t spell the name of her publication if it weren’t on the masthead, Zeitgeist magazine’s Molly Forrester (Killer Cocktail, 2005, etc.) finally gets her big break. Bucking her editor, associate publisher Henry Kwon assigns her to write on Olivia Elliott, whose father, rock-’n’-roll producer Russell Elliott, died of an accidental overdose three weeks before. It’s a meaty subject. In the late 1980s, Russell had managed Subject to Change Without Notice, a chart-busting band in the grunge vanguard. Since the death of lead singer Micah Crowley, the Elliotts and the Crowleys—including Micah’s wife Claire, their son Adam, their out-of-wedlock son Jordan and Bonnie Carson, Jordan’s mother—have continued to live in merged dysfunction in adjoining duplexes. Naturally, Molly zeroes in on the angle most likely to raise her editor’s hackles and destroy her fragile reconciliation with Kyle Edwards, who called it quits over her incessant sleuthing. Thank goodness she has best friends Tricia and Cassady to help her party with the Crowley boys, now rockers in their own right, as she gets her face smeared all over the tabloids in the process.
Anderson’s overplotted fourth is not for readers who expect the solution to make sense.