Exposé by Laura Van Wormer
(Mira, $21.95, PG) ISBN 1-55166-526-3
***
As a reporter for a much-read glossy magazine, Sally Harrington had traveled in the rich and glitzy circles of Hollywood When her mother contracts cancer, she returns to her hometown, a small blue-collar town in Connecticut, to nurse her through chemotherapy. Sally begins working as a reporter for the local newspaper and resumes her love affair with Doug Wrentham, her high school lover sweetheart.

Verity Rhodes retains Sally to do an exclusive story on Cassy Cochran who shattered the glass ceiling and became head of a major TV network. Big money accompanies this assignment, and Sally is off and running, not truly understanding why she has been hired.

Sally meets Crazy Pete Sabatino, a paranoid schizophrenic who sees conspiracies in every action. Through her contact with Crazy Pete, Sally discovers a murder victim. Exposé parallels the unraveling of this small-town murder with the evolving exposé of Cassy Cochran. Crazy Pete is a pivotal character in Exposé, since each appearance heralds a very significant event.

Through Verity, Sally meets Spencer Hawes, an editor from a prestigious publishing house. He is portrayed as tall, dark and handsome. That pretty much defines him, since he is the one of the most one-dimensional characters I have ever encountered. His dialogue is sophomoric, and the love interest and passion that evolves with Sally is all told from her point of view. In fact, Exposé is told from Sally’s first person point of view for the entire book.

Sally balances her heart with her work and coming in a distant third is her investigative work that eventually solves the murder. The author draws the fine line between romance and promiscuity well; and it is her mother who aids Sally in her choice between Dave and Spencer. (Have times changed or what?) Sally has the energy level of a spinning top. Perhaps, if she were not so vivacious, Spencer would not seem so flat. This is a weakness in this book -- it is difficult to sustain romantic tension when it's all coming from one side.

--Thea Davis


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