Book review: Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance
Charismatic Lexy O'Brien is a reality TV diva, dowdy Caroline Evans is a part-time blogger and when their lives collide, the fall-out is nuclear!
Rebecca Chance, more familiar to some as crime writer Lauren Henderson, delivers one of the summer’s raunchiest and cleverest blockbusters with a fun, frenetic and acutely observant dig at the extraordinary 21st century cult of celebrity.
Author of a string of enjoyable, high-octane bestsellers like Divas, Killer Heels and Bad Brides, Cambridge University graduate Chance has lived in Tuscany and New York, and travels extensively to research exotic locations for her deliciously dark novels.
And for sheer entertainment value, Killer Affair has the lot… glamour, millionaire lifestyles, betrayal, revenge and red hot sex. But Chance also has a wicked way with words and this dark, edge-of-the-seat page-turner is brimming with razor-sharp one-liners and devilishly funny dialogue.
Stars of the show are the luscious and lively Lexy, and the clumpy but exceedingly clever Caroline, two very different women who embark on a rocky road of bitter rivalry when the celebrity queen hires the humble copy writer to pen her disreputable memoir. What happens next is an unexpected journey of self-discovery for both.
Darling of the tabloids, successful entrepreneur and a relentless self-publicist, Lexy O’Brien has reached the age of 37 but still reigns supreme as the queen of reality TV. Her modest and unassuming ex-soccer star husband Frank Callis is now a successful television football pundit but the outgoing, attention-seeking Lexy has far surpassed him in the fame stakes.
Her management team’s latest ploy is to find someone to ghost write Lexy’s remarkable ‘career’ as a novel and Caroline Evans seems to fit the bill perfectly for the demanding diva. First of all, the 27-year-old’s frumpy clothes and down-at-heel appearance pose ‘no threat at all’ to Lexy and her highly creative blogs and erotic fiction are the perfect mix of wit, sauciness and sex.
And no one could be more delighted with the – albeit underpaid and temporary – commission than Caroline who is bored with her media company job and only writes her blogs as a pitch to secure a book deal.
Caroline, who has a reluctant admiration for Lexy, is soon ‘embedded’ with the star’s family, which includes children Laylah and London, at their spectacular, multi-million pound home at the expensive and exclusive Sandbanks peninsula near Poole in Dorset.
Being taken under Lexy’s wing, and following her exploits both at home and on set, is a dream come true for Caroline and there is the added thrill of spending time with Lexi’s lovable other half Frank whose good looks and natural modesty have had a dazzling effect on Lexy’s ‘Ghost Mouse.’
But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs and it’s not long before the dangerously envious Caroline is craving what she can’t possibly have. As the two women’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode…
Lexy and Caroline are a sensational double act as they undergo an intriguing role reversal in this riotous romp of betrayal and revenge. Slowly but surely, Lexi’s latent vulnerability starts to take centre stage while the increasingly confident Caroline worms her way into the weird and wonderful world of the media-hungry star, her handsome husband and their two precocious children.
Along the way, Chance covers every aspect of the celebrity phenomenon, creating a playful pastiche of locations, lifestyles and high-profile personalities whose names may have been changed but whose publicity-seeking antics will be familiar to reality TV addicts and lovers of showbiz gossip.
From the painful rigours of beauty treatments (it takes a brave soul to get through the eye-watering anal bleaching episode!) to tantrums, pre-shoots, press launches and modelling gigs, this is a brilliant, sexy, sizzling tale of our times… and the perfect read to keep the temperatures soaring this summer!
(Pan paperback, £7.99)