You may be thinking that I'm posting lots of book reviews at the moment, and you'd be right ! August is the time I pack several books in my suitcase and race through my "to be reviewed" pile faster than at any other time of the year ! When this particular book plopped on the door mat, I was intrigued. What would be hiding beneath the leopard skin print wrapping paper ? Well, I should have guessed ...
Jackie Collins is back with new novel The Santangelos due for release on 10th September. This is Jackie's 30th novel and the ninth featuring the Santangelo family (the tenth if you include The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook, which sounds like it would be great for the #readcookeat challenge !). Despite Jackie being one of the world's best-loved and top-selling writers with more than 500 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries, I was a Jackie Collins virgin ! This was my first time reading any of her novels.
The prologue swiftly brings you up to speed though. A rich, powerful Middle Eastern king is hell-bent on revenge after his favourite son is killed. In his sights is Lucky Santangelo, an American woman who not only owns a hotel (shocking enough, as she's a mere woman) but also refused to sell it to his son and insulted him to his face. The scene is well and truly set.
The action moves to Lucky Santangelo's world and we are introduced to all the members of her extensive family. They're far from angels with fingers in several illegal pies but they are represented as affable villains with morals (however warped !), reminding me very much of The Sopranos.
Fiercely protective of her family, Lucky is one ballsy woman who is used to being in control - of everything and everyone. When her beloved elderly father is shot dead and her son is framed for murder, she realises that The Santangelos are being targetted and sets out to find out why and by who.
It's a fast-paced and exciting storyline and the characters are deliciously eccentric - from brattish Hollywood divas to macho Colombian druglords and everything in between, Jackie Collins delivers a truckload of characters that you'll love to love or hate.
I'll be honest, I was expecting a bland Hollywood bonkathon but I've discovered that Jackie Collins offers a whole lot more. I may not have time to work through her entire extensive back catalogue but I will definitely keep my eyes out for her future offerings.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £20 (but currently only £10 at amazon)