College student Holly Constantine’s good sense and good humor save the day when she becomes the victim of a byzantine kidnap plot.
Connie B. Constantine, one of Hollywood’s most ferocious entertainment lawyers, has taken her daughter to Paradise Plaza to get several inches trimmed from her overweight frame, not to have her disappear altogether. She rakes spa owner Marlo Dunlap over the coals for letting Holly get snatched along with TV star Vanessa Wyatt on her early morning run, upbraids Santa Barbara detective Suzanne Mathis and FBI agent Eric Stonehouse for not knowing how to get her back, then retreats along with her husband Frank, whose main strategy is to drink himself silly, into a laptop-filled cottage to try to raise the $8 million demanded by Parks for the People for Holly and Vanessa’s return. Meantime, Holly, confined in the dark with Vanessa, amuses herself by taking mental excursions through her beloved Dakota plains and trying not to think about why those rustling, giggling and zipping noises are coming from Vanessa’s side of the room. She negotiates with her captors, winning little kindnesses so often that she begins to wonder whether her current predicament is any worse thanf a week at the fat farm with her size 4 mother. She also makes some serious plans for the future, providing she has one.
Cannon (Open Season on Lawyers, 2001, etc.) balances heart and bite in her brisk new stand-alone.