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 A Hollywood debut novel complete with celebrities, up-market brand names, and the requisite crazed woman-hating psychosexual serial killer. It's really just a matter of high concept. If you look at Kincaid's smoothly written Tinsel-book as fiction, it's just another in a long line of formula pulp, a little more well-informed than most; but if you see it as a textbook to movie business and pop folklore, it's an effective and sometimes entertaining way to learn. For example, it's much easier to remember that a craft- service girl is the person on a movie set who stocks snacks for the cast and crew if she's one of the serial killer's victims, found tortured and bloody with a bondage mask over her head. It's more attention-getting to discover that erotic scenes are difficult to play when the problem is set forth as the inner monologue of a well-endowed movie star having sex. Kincaid provides detailed lists of what expensive cars to drive and clothes to wear (``Geoffrey Beene's silver sequin slip dress with point d`esprit panels'' and ``high-vamped Diego della Valle hammered gold satin huaraches''). And because all the featured players here bear a plausible resemblance to someone famous, there's the hint that perhaps some of the sordid gossip we're hearing is true. The plot, apart from solving the murders, is about various people involved in the location shooting of a blockbuster film: the beleaguered producer who has to fight to keep his studio from the 300-pound Australian pervert; the superstar actress whose son is one of the stars; the extraordinarily virile six-feet five-inch twins who love the same extraordinarily beautiful supermodel; the bulimic superagent; the ex-porn star, etc. And as background, there's an ongoing soundtrack of plausible name-dropping from some gifted Hollywood observers who can spot cosmetic surgery at a hundred feet. Mindless, approaching camp.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-57566-077-6
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1996