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Prime Time a Novel

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Six beautiful, ambitious women vie for the starring role in the hottest nighttime show on television, a part that someone is willing to kill for. . . This first novelist is a better actress. But Collins has at least followed one of the basic rules for the fiction ingenue: write about something you know. Her milieu is Hollywood in the 1980s, where five actresses are testing for the "greatest goddamn woman's role since Scarlett O'Hara." The coveted part is that of Miranda, the glamorous, voluptuous, bitchy ex-wife of a business tycoon in a TV series resembling Dynasty. Top contender is beautiful Chloe Carriere, a British songstress married (and faithful) to an aging rock star with a penchant for young girls. She harbors a carefully guarded secretan illegitimate love child whom she dotes on, but who knows her as Aunt Chloe. Generating only tepid suspense with this soap-opera staple, Collins is equally inept with a second element of attempted intrigue: a disturbed young man so obsessed by another actress vying for the prized part that he plots to kill the "sluts" who are competing for the role. While Collins's experiences enhance the various Hollywood settings with a good blend of glitz and gossip, her writing is pedestrian, her plotting obvious and her dialogue cliche-ridden and trite. First serial to Cosmopolitan; Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate. . Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.