The Last Lo"/>
 

THE BAD WITNESS

Laura Van Wormer, Author
Laura Van Wormer, Author . Mira $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-55166-952-6
Reviewed on: 09/30/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-1-55166-739-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-7783-2157-6
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Van Wormer's patented blend of romance and courtroom drama wears a little thin in her 11th novel, her fourth featuring broadcast journalist Sally Harrington (The Last Lover; Exposé; Trouble Becomes Her). Sally is a headstrong, risk-taking, sexy woman who thrives on fast action, danger and press attention. On temporary hiatus from New York, she's in Los Angeles, where she's the key defense witness for Hollywood producer Jonathan Small, accused of killing East Coast mobster Nick Arlenetta, who once tried to kill Sally herself. Because she wrote a documentary miniseries about the war between East Coast crime families, her testimony is crucial in the California case, so the Santa Monica police department assigns Paul Fitzwilliam as round-the-clock protection for Sally. Although he's six years her junior, the sexual attraction between them is palpable, but their budding romance is interrupted when a hit-and-run motorist slams into their motorcycle and they end up in the hospital. Subplots involving Hollywood stars and trendy issues like bisexuality abound, but the primary narrative proceeds with Sally on the witness stand in a cast. A shocking revelation from another witness livens up the mix, but as the trial increasingly takes over the story, the dull, repetitive testimony makes the second half of the novel read more like a court transcript than fiction. This isn't one of Van Wormer's better efforts, but as a Sally Harrington vehicle, it should satisfy diehard fans. (Nov. 4)

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