The Pink Hotel

Liska Jacobs. MCD, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-60315-1

Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want) returns with an amusing if over-the-top satire of the überwealthy. After a chance meeting at a hospitality conference, small-town newlyweds Keith and Kit Collins befriend the tony Richard and Ilka Beaumont, who invite the couple to honeymoon at their renowned Beverly Hills establishment, the Pink Hotel. Once Keith and Kit check in, Keith, who works as the general manager of his uncle’s restaurant and hotel, is enamored of the elite scene and agrees to help Richard attend to guests in hopes of securing a job offer, leaving Kit to spend time with a hard-partying young socialite who’s also staying at the hotel. Complications arise when Keith develops a crush on Richard’s mistress, Coco, whose cousin Sean (a construction worker helping with an expansion at the hotel) takes a liking to Kit after she faints from heatstroke and lands in his arms. Then things go off the rails as encroaching wildfires and rolling blackouts stir up angry mobs outside the hotel gates, while, inside, a guest’s exotic cats go on the attack, shots ring out, and tensions boil over. The chaotic climax is something to behold, but thinly drawn characters water down the satire’s potency, and the class commentary is a bit predictable. Readers who can look past a few wobbles will be easily carried along by the rollicking madcap sensibility. (July)
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