The merits of trash, flash and cash |

The merits of trash, flash and cash

Terri Schlichenmeyer

Ahhhh, the lives of the rich and famous.Your maid couldnt get the stains out of your designer suit so you had a new one flown in from Milan. Then, the limo driver didnt show up and the restaurant wont hold your reservation. Some up-and-comer is sitting at your table and theyre out of your favorite champagne. Life is rough, isnt it?But what fun to read about it. Trash, flash, and cash are the main ingredients in the new novel Lovers & Players by Jackie Collins.When people think of Red Diamond, the word that comes to mind rhymes with plastered. Seventy-nine-year-old Red is purely mean, and he uses everyone who crosses his path. So why do people hang around Red? Because hes incredibly rich. And at 79, he cant live much longer, can he?When Red summons his three sons to his mansion, the brothers are bewildered but enticed. Maybe the old man will finally let them know whats in his will. Maybe hes about to kick the bucket. Max, the eldest, has made a nice life for himself. Hes into real estate, and rich because of his own doing. Max will soon marry beautiful Amy, an heiress in her own right. Things would be better, though, if Maxs ex-wife, Mariska were out of the picture. Yes, shes the mother of Maxs beloved daughter, Lulu, but Mariska is also a thorn in Maxs side. Chris, Reds middle son, was always the one who tried to fix things. Now Chris is a lawyer to the rich, and his high life has him in trouble. Chris owes big money to a Vegas casino owner, and the man wants his cash now. Years ago, Jeff, the youngest brother, partied hard until his friends finally got him into rehab. After his recovery, Jeff got a lucky break. He is a model in Italy now and he lives with a beautiful woman who also models. He doesnt love Gianna, but shes handy. Besides, she owns their apartment. When the three Diamond brothers gather together in New York City, they wonder if their lives are about to change for the better.Theyre half right.I read lots of books and every now and then, I love to settle in with something over-the-top, outrageously, deliciously trashy, kind of as a literary palate cleanser. Lovers and Players fits the bill very nicely. Author Jackie Collins is the queen of rich-and-famous scandal novels, and this one is plenty fun to read. Its filled with bed-hopping, double-crossing, and lying, and Red Diamond is so very hateable that you almost cringe to see him on the page. My only complaints were these: one of the plot lines is very thin and easy to figure out. And Lulus dialogue was more like a well-trained parrot than that of a child. This aside, if youre looking for the perfect escape novel, you cant go wrong with Lovers & Players. You may not be rich and famous, but its plenty fun to read about those who are. VT

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