cover image The Santangelos

The Santangelos

Jackie Collins. St. Martin's, $27.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-250-04823-3

Lucky Santangelo, the plucky, devilish heroine of Collins's mega-selling series, returns to defend her Las Vegas hotel and casino empire, the Keys, against Middle Eastern royalty and a menacing Columbian drug lord. Lucky was last seen valiantly protecting the Keys from a takeover by billionaire Armand Jordan, who was then assassinated. She has now become the target of a revenge plot hatched by Jordan's father, Emir, the misogynistic king of fictitious Akramshar. After a two-page prologue catches readers up, the action plays out with rapid-fire chapters and seamless plotting, every sexy move made extravagantly melodramatic. King Emir's first hit is a personal one that devastates Lucky. As she runs interference, frothy subplots bubble to the surface involving her nightclub magnate son, Bobby, whose girlfriend, is a high-powered L.A. district attorney working on apprehending "sleazebags who sell drugs to children and murder people when they get in their way." After a mesmerizing call girl slips Bobby a roofie at his new club opening, he's framed for her murder. Then Lucky's teen daughter, Max, is accosted by a pushy photographer while on an increasingly dangerous Italian modeling assignment. Thinking the events are all too coincidental, Lucky fears she is at the mercy of one or more vengeful villains and departs her lush Palm Springs abode for some L.A.-based sleuthing with her best gal pal, Venus. Her husband, Lenny, invigorates her with love and "Tantric sex." The Santangelo clan is in usual fine form with this fresh yet classically over-the-top page-turner, spearheaded by an indefatigable, libidinous heroine. Collins devotees will devour this flashy, racy indulgence. (June)