Pretty Women

Kate Coscarelli, Author
Kate Coscarelli, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-453-00652-1
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Coscarelli's latest ( Perfect Order ; Living Color ) comes with claims that it combines ``all the elements of first-rate, best-selling fiction,'' but, in writing as in cooking, it's how the elements are combined that counts. The pretty women are Samara Silverman Mulhane, head of a Hollywood studio founded by her father, and Tess Kipling, dean of women at a California university. Both now in their 50s, they became close friends on a Air Force base in Tripoli (Libya) when married to pilots posted there in the late '40s. Coscarelli's account of the courting of these and other couples provides plenty of opportunity for detailed sexual antics, mostly sanctified by the fact that marriage looms large in the near future or recent past. The requisite element of conflict is the blackmail and forced sexual domination of Chili, another pilot's wife, by Brick Masters, the base commander, which ends with her apparent suicide. Thirty years later, Brick is touted as possible head of the National Security Committee, and Tess and Samara reunite with other former friends of Chili from Tripoli to prove Brick was her murderer, in what could be intended as climax but which comes across as a limp excuse to classify this a novel of romance and intrigue. Coscarelli has cooked up a leaden souffle to serve to her readers. Troll Book Club main selection. (June)
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