The Power Trip

by Jackie Collins (Simon and Schuster) ISBN: 978 1 84737 980 1

 

Five celebrity couples are invited to cruise the Sea of Cortez on the 400-foor super-yacht of a powerful Russian billionaire and his supermodel mistress. It turns out to be a trip none of them will ever forget—as they will have to survive old jealousies, infidelity, storms and a band of pirates.

 

Cliff Baxter is an altar-shy movie idol who sees the trip as the perfect opportunity to dump his ex-waitress girlfriend—but she has no intention of giving up her privileged life as an A-lister’s consort. Flynn Hudson is a tough, cynical political reporter who doesn’t believe in personal connections—until someone from his past shows up on the trip.

 

Jackie Collins is not a superstar author for nothing. She has voodoo-like talent for getting you to turn the pages, dragging you into her world by the sheer force of her narrative energy , seducing you with her scandalous characters—most of them as  narcissistic, ambitious, manipulative as those you would find in your favourite soap opera.

 

Anthony Ehlers

4/5

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The Survivor

by Sean Slater (Simon & Schuster) ISBN: 978 0 85720 038 9

 

With the recent Oslo massacre still a fresh scar in our minds, this gunfire-fast novel could not be more topical. 

 

On his first day back from leave, Detective Jacob Striker encounters three shooters wearing hockey masks on a killing spree at his daughter’s high school. We’re not only reminded of the Norway attacks, but the ghosts of Columbine and South Africa’s own samurai sword killing schoolboy Morne Harmse.

 

In a race against time, Striker tries to get to investigate the killings, even though he comes up short on motives and suspects. The story takes the reader from the school halls to far darker and dangerous places.

 

If you’re a fan of police procedurals with added thrills, The Survivor won’t disappoint.

 

Sean Slater is the pseudonym for a Canadian cop who works the skids in Vancouver and this gives his first novel a raw authenticity. Jacob Striker promises to be a new protagonist to watch in an exciting new series. Only his partner, Felicia Santos, is a bit difficult to identify with as a reader.

 

Anthony Ehlers

4/5

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Bloodline

by Lynda la Plante (Simon & Schuster) ISBN: 978 0857 201812

 

Inspector Anna Travis, still haunted by the murder of her fiancé, takes on an investigation that, on the surface, looks like a missing person’s case.  Alan Rawlins was a loving son and boyfriend. He wouldn’t just leave his life behind without a trace, would he?  His elderly father suspects foul play; that his girlfriend has something to do with his sudden disappearance.

 

When evidence of blood is found in Alan’s flat, it’s clear this is a murder investigation – and the case is blown wide open for Anna. As the story unravels, it becomes clear that Alan’s life was far from perfect. Family secrets, clandestine lovers, this victim was living the classic double life.

 

Not only does Anna have to sift through a web of subtle, seemingly irrelevant clues and forensic evidence, she has her superior, James Langdon, second-guessing her every move. Langdon doesn’t believe she’s worked through her own recent bereavement and it could be affecting her judgement.

 

La Plante, creator of a string of successful novels and television dramas, writes with a compelling sense of immediacy. What she lacks in style, she makes up for in a cracking good story and a brutally fast pace. It’s crime entertainment at its best – like a really good episode of Law &Order.

 

Anthony Ehlers

4/5

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Unbearable Lightness

by Portia de Rossi (Simon & Schuster) ISBN 978 0 85820 411 0

 

Amanda Rogers, who renamed herself Portia de Rossi, faces her demons with anorexia. She literally falls apart during her first leading role in a Hollywood film.

 

Ever keen for the limelight, in the form of acceptance, admiration and sex appeal, Portia, at the age of twelve, begins modelling and works her way in front of the camera.

 

Years later she is cast as the sexy, cold lawyer, Nell Porter, in Ally McBeal. The pressures of maintaining this perfect exterior as well as hiding her undisclosed sexuality lead her down a self-destructive path. Her obsession leaves her starving herself, and she weighs only 82 pounds at one stage.

 

This book is honest. Many readers will easily connect with De Rossi’s struggles. It is ultimately liberating for the reader when she finally overcomes her demons.

 

there is much scene repetition within the plot, I understand it needs to be so. How else can you put across the extent with which she was obsessed? The writing is naked and that is why it is so appealing.

 

Liz Breet

4/5

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