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The London-based author of Dance While You Can (p. 132), etc., presents a contemporary romance/suspense that moves between England, New York, and Italy. Plain-jane Marian Deacon works as a secretary and lives in Bristol with her blond-bombshell cousin Madeleine. The trouble starts when Madeleine sets her sights on Paul O'Connell, a handsome and enigmatic writer. To her chagrin, Paul prefers mousy Marian, and the two begin a chaste romance. But when Marian leaves town to visit her widowed mother, Madeleine manages to make off with Marian's sizable lottery winnings--and with Paul as well She uses the money to launch a modeling career, and soon her face and voluptuous body are plastered all over billboards and magazines. Meanwhile, a heartbroken Marian makes the acquaintance of a brilliant director, Matthew Cornwall, whose producer girlfriend Stephanie invites Marian to work on the film she and Matthew arc making--the subject of which is a rich, beautiful, and artistically talented girl named Olivia Hastings who mysteriously disappeared some years earlier. Marian becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to Olivia, and her probing uncovers some despicable secrets that connect Paul to a sinister bottega where beautiful young women are murdered and then dissected in order to create macabre yet compelling marble sculptures. Madeleine, chosen as the next victim, will be saved--though not before her lovely face is hideously disfigured--by Marian and Matthew Cornwall. Finally, of course, Paul is brought to justice--and the cousins are reunited. Overlong, tedious, and improbable to the point of absurdity: a first-class lemon that's in no way saved by its British accent.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0099514680
Page count: 576pp
Publisher: HarperCollins