Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Author of Prime Suspect, the hit PBS "Mystery" series and novelization, La Plante follows up Cold Blood (LJ 7/97) and its prequel Cold Shoulder (Random, 1996) with this flawed and undistinguished finale. After earning good money in Cold Blood, L.A. private investigator Lorraine Page tries to evade a troubled past and start life and work anewwith new clothes, a new apartment, a face lift, and a new case: the murder of moviemaker Harry Nathan. When Page gets romantically involved with Jake Burton, she dreams of forgetting her career and raising kids. But despite Page's treacly dreams, the past overtakes her. Nathan's two ex-wives are interestingly developed, which is not true of most of the other characters, especially Page. Although Page is credible as a detective, her private life plays like a soap opera. Despite some good plotting, the story suffers from loose ends and ambiguities. Not recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/98.]Michelle Foyt, Fairfield P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Featuring the sleazy Hollywood denizens that La Plante depicts so well, this follow-up to Cold Blood and Cold Shoulder, though enjoyable reading, suffers from a flurry of plot coincidences and an unsatisfying ending. Ex-cop Lorraine Page (last seen in Cold Blood, 1997) is fresh out of surgery and rehab when she gets the first call at her new detective agency. Tinseltown sex kitten Cindy Nathan has found the body of her porn filmmaker husband, Harry, in his Beverly Hills pool and asks Page to prove she didn't do it. All evidence points to Cindy, but Lorraine weeds through the good, the bad and the really nasty in the deceased's circle of ex-spouses and scammed partners, and digs up a private video collection that makes everyone a suspect in wanting him dead. A visit to the police station ignites romance between Page and the new captain, Jake Burton, but few leads on the case. Then an art scam surfaces and Page is hired to track Harry's missing art collection, the bulk of his estate. She visits Harry's surviving first wife, a reclusive feminist artist living on Long Island, and uncovers hot leads, more death and lethal danger that follows her back to the West coast. La Plante's plotting is ragged with loose ends and the novel's conclusion is as familiar as scrambled eggs. But her leads are two raw nerves in search of a synapse and La Plante makes romantic sparks fly between them like few writers can. Agent, Esther Newberg. Author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Kirkus Book Review
A not-quite-porn producer dead in his swimming pool is the come-on for p.i. Lorraine Page's third and most tangled case. The evidence against Harry Nathan's child-wife Cindy is so strong'a history of shouted threats, her prints on the murder gun'that it's no wonder she phones Lorraine to ask for her help. But when Lorraine, that tough ex-cop-turned-alcoholic-turned-supershamus (Cold Blood, 1997, etc.), catches up with Cindy at the Santa Monica Police Department, Harry's widow insists she never called her: it must have been somebody else. That's only the first of many dead-end mysteries in the triple-decker investigation spawned by Harry's death. Harry's initial dirty linen (two ex-wives, kinky pansexual tastes) pales before suggestions of blackmail fueled by his Watergate-sized archive of audio- and videotapes. But beneath this second scummy layer there's still more dirt to dig, since the half-share in an art gallery Harry's passed on to his second wife, Kendall Nathan, is honeycombed with hints of wholesale fraud. Kendall swears she's Harry's victim, not co-conspirator; so does his ashen lawyer, Joel Feinstein; Harry's first wife, sculptress Sonjan Sorenson, smugly points out that she was in the Hamptons when Harry was killed; and Harry's old friend, aging queen Raymond Vallance, says he was out of the loop entirely. But Cindy, at least, is soon off the hook, thanks not to the tireless investigations of Lorraine's current troops (new secretary Rob Decker, marriage-minded new lover LAPD Chief of Detectives Lt. Jake Burton), but to a slight case of murder disguised as suicide, and soon it's open season on the remaining cast members. All this juicy malfeasance would be more compelling if (1) the most interesting characters didn't keep dying off, replaced by pale stand-ins who are much harder to care about; and (2) if La Plante didn't keep alternating danger and romance, action scenes and emotional confessions, promises of happy endings and portentous dramatic irony, in an economy that screams TV movie. Lorraine ends up solving the case while she's in a coma. Even the most cold-hearted readers may well empathize.