It’s In His Kiss by Vickie Lester: a book review

IIHKCover5x8final291p copy

Death is a sidewinder. It strikes from a place concealed and unthinkable, triggering a reality completely unexpected. – Vickie Lester

Anne Brown, a New York teacher and author of literary novels is on her way to Palm Springs in the middle of winter. Movie studio bigwigs are flying her out to renew the option on her first novel, a decade out of print. Why do the rich and beautiful people welcome her with open arms? Is it because she’s the out of wedlock daughter of a retired movie mogul?

No, it’s a bit more sinister than that, Cliff, the most beautiful person there, tells Anne. An acting agent, he fills her in and offers to help her navigate the proverbial shark infested waters. And draws her into a whirlwind affair that is hardly the norm for Anne, a confirmed bachelorette, who thinks of herself as the girl that guys just want to be friends with.

It seems too good to be true, but it is, until the following morning, when Cliff is found dead by the side of the road in his Ferrari. It looks like a tragic heart attack until the coroner finds he overdosed on the kind of drug cocktail used to enhance pleasure at the gay sex club up the road. Cliff hardly seemed gay to Anne, and everyone who knew him swears he was straight in every sense of the word.

Filled with grief, anger, and curiosity, Anne begins to ask questions. It soon becomes apparent that everyone at the Palm Springs house that weekend was hiding something. “Was there not one single normal person in all of L.A.?” she wonders. And then a black Escalade tries to chase her down on the freeway…

Vickie Lester, who blogs at Beguiling Hollywood, used to write screenplays, “Horrid, arty, little things,” she says, “that were…optioned again and again, but never made into movies. Perhaps, because they were neither commercial or cinematic?”

Now she has turned her considerable talent and insider’s knowledge of Hollywood into a gripping mystery, with an ending I never saw coming.  It’s In His Kiss is funny and smart and offers an insider’s view of a world of illusion that still fascinates.

The City of Angels was named for beings most often seen by children, visionaries, and the insane. The best novels out of LA are woven with a noir tone – all that sun and all those palm trees have to cast a shadow. Anne Brown and Phillip Marlowe are very different characters, and yet I imagine the spirit of Raymond Chandler is pleased. As a fan of both authors, I know I was!

Vickie Lester at Joshua Tree

Vickie Lester at Joshua Tree

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to It’s In His Kiss by Vickie Lester: a book review

  1. WOW! If I can figure out the Amazon page, may I use part of this as the book description and cite firstgates.com as the contributor? Your synopsis makes me look at the novel with a fresh eye, and Morgan, that is SOMETHING, as I have it about 400 times. THANK YOU.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD and commented:
    This knocked my socks off — thank you, Morgan! I added part of your piece as the “Editorial Review” on Amazon and it should appear it 3-5 days. Fabulous!!!

    Like

  3. Heather in Arles says:

    I agree – a truly fabulous review!

    Like

  4. George Kaplan says:

    This is a keenly observed and perceptive review, Mr Mussell. Evocative and fun too! Kudos, you really did Ms Lester’s work justice.

    Like

    • Thanks Mr Kaplan. I’m always concerned when I start a book to review for a friend or blogging buddy – what if I don’t like it? In this case, the concern was gone by page 2, replaced by enjoyment.

      Like

  5. I have to admit, I was surprised by the title of the book you were reviewing. How did you happen to choose it? It sounds fabulous and is definitely going on my TBR list.

    Like

    • I’ve followed & commented on Vickie’s blog for quite a while. Around Easter time, I reflagged that bizarre Hollywood photo of the giant rabbit and models. In April, Vickie invited me to review her book. I gave my usual disclaimer – that for friends, blogging buddies, and indie authors, I will not say anything if I can’t say anything good. In this case, it was not a problem.

      Like

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Great review. I am almost at the end of It’s in his Kiss and I am loving it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s