Jackie Collins has never been noted for her subtlety or her complex prose. In her latest addition to the Beach Book genre, HOLLYWOOD WIVES: The New Generation, Collins gleefully dives into the demimonde of the entertainment industry and comes up with some juicy pearls. Actresses, models, super diva singers, personal trainers, annoying boy directors...All the Hollywood characters are here in their ribald glory. The wives of the title are on a thrill packed ride through this world, dragging the reader along behind them.
This new generation of wives is quite different from the earlier ones, however; the Hollywood matrons of the '80s were strictly trophy wives who ate lunch at Spago and had affairs with their pool boys to pass the time. Collins's new posse of wives are significantly more modern than the last generation --- women whose money and power came solely through their rich Hollywood husbands. These women are making it on their own with careers in the entertainment industry and gym buffed bodies. The main wife of the book is Lissa Roman, Hollywood actress and diva. As the book opens, Lissa suspects her fourth husband is being less than faithful to her and hires a Private Investigator to tail her sneaky spouse. It goes without saying that the P.I. is a stud, and he and Lissa develop a rather interesting "business" relationship.
Meanwhile, Lissa's daughter, Nicci Stone (the result of Lissa's brief marriage to a Spanish gigolo) is engaged to an arty, edgy, hip young writer. But secretly, she has doubts about the whole wedding thing. Do you have to ask --- Nicci is in lust with her fiance's dashing rogue of a twin brother. Then there is Taylor Singer, married to a much older, much more talented Oscar-winner and yet sleeping with a druggie screenwriter. And, of course, who could forget Stella Rossitter, a tawdry blonde who is waiting for a surrogate mother to give birth to her twins.
Maybe its the excitement of the wedding, or the thrill of her hidden passions, but Nicci fails to notice a sinister threat. Someone is stalking her --- with potentially deadly results! As usual, Collins delivers the goods. This may not be the deepest, most intellectual book you will read all year, but HOLLYWOOD WIVES: The New Generation is juicy and engrossing and a must-have in any beach tote bag.
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on May 21, 2002