Cover image for The reporter
The reporter
Lange, Kelly.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Mysterious Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
312 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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A well-known Hollywood reporter takes a wry look at the entertainment capital of the world in this story about the murder of Jack Nathanson, a sleazy, Academy Award-winning director.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lange can't seem to decide if she's writing a show-biz spoof or a serious mystery. It begins at a star-studded funeral for Jack Nathanson, a murdered actor who is on display in a glass coffin. Three of his wives--two exes, one widow--are on hand to mourn his passing. The similarity of the victim's name to a real-life movie star, and the colorful characters at his funeral, suggests Hollywood send-up, but as the story progresses, somber elements lend un-spoof-like depth to the proceedings. TV reporter Maxi Poole, one of the exes, believes police have wrongly charged another ex, Debra Angelo, with murder. When people close to Nathanson are murdered and Maxi herself is attacked, suspicion turns to a pathetic former child actress whom Nathanson sexually abused, but the violent murders don't mesh with her pallid persona. Other suspects include one of Nathanson's former mistresses, a drugged-out DJ, and the relieved widow. The schizoid aspects of Lange's plot are distracting, but finally it's possible to enjoy both halves of the book's personality. --Jenny McLarin

Publisher's Weekly Review

The best parts of Lange's (Gossip and Trophy Wife) mystery debut are when the veteran Los Angeles news anchor and Hollywood insider lets her roots show, dropping gobbets of showbiz lore into the otherwise thin broth of a bland story. When Lange's Maxi Poole a tall blonde whom we first meet (at the funeral of her ex-husband, actor Jack Nathanson) wearing "a short, bright red, zip-up sweater with a red-and-white tweed miniskirt" describes the furnishings at Nathanson's Benedict Canyon home, anyone who has ever read a People profile will recognize the artwork: "Bulky, bizarre sculptures on pedestals, cryptic drawings and gigantic pieces of Expressionism, bloody, gory scenes portraying people cut in half, phantoms, ghouls, the devil in many forms, human and animal freaks of nature." Likewise, Maxi's work methods when she talks to the homicide detectives investigating Nathanson's murder also ring bright and true: "Still, she expected to learn something from the conversation a tone, an attitude, a feeling that they were really on to something, or not." But these original moments only serve to make the rest of this flabby tale about which one of Nathanson's horde of ex-wives and lovers actually knocked him off sound more like an Entertainment Tonight recycle than a hot news item although readers might have some fun trying to figure just how close the conniving, kinky and fatally charming Jack Nathanson is to a real-life star with a similar name. Agent, Robin Rue. (Mar. 14) Forecast: With a four-city author tour and plugs from the likes of Sidney Sheldon and Dominick Dunne, Lange, a former anchor and reporter for L.A.'s KNBC-TV and a correspondent for the daily news show Women 2 Women, should get off to a fast start. Hollywood gossip fans could sustain the momentum. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Glamorous TV news reporter Maxi Poole attends the funeral of her "movie-superhero" ex-husband because she suspects that another ex-wife will be charged with his killing. Sure enough, police arrest beautiful actress Debra (ex-wife No. 1 and a friend of Maxi) at the burial. Believing Debra to be innocent, Maxi (ex-wife No. 2) throws her investigative reporting into high gear amid the dead man's debtors, spurned paramours, and other enemies. Ably painted with all the requisite glitz, gossip, media hype, and sex that attend a Hollywood production, this makes a welcome romp for all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.