Tan Lines

J. J. Salem, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-312-37415-0

A Jacqueline Susann–style thriller by way of Candace Bushnell, Salem's scorching debut follows three young women on a wild Hamptons summer of reinventing themselves. Unhappy with fireman hubby Justin (whom she married in the aftermath of 9/11), “fashionista feminist” and political media pundit Liza Pike, 29, is harvesting her eggs for future momhood and considering divorce. Former actress Kellyanne Downey is the depressed mistress of wealthy, possessive businessman Walter Isherwood, while indie rock chick Billie Shelton finds herself on a downhill slide: “I can't. I'm all fucked out. Reschedule.” A prologue foretells that “a grisly murder, a premature birth, and a public meltdown,” will be the eventual fate for the three at the posh Hampton summer rental they're sharing, and Salem doesn't disappoint. Her poolside read throbs with intensity, spiked with erotic detail (“eight thousand nerve endings in the clitoris, and this son of a bitch couldn't find any of them”) and disturbing aftershocks. (July)

Reviewed on: 04/07/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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