Friday, November 25, 2011

One of Those Malibu Nights by Elizabeth Adler

For our next book review in the Oceans 11 reading challenge, here's a few words from library patron & friend of abcreads Susan:

One of Those Malibu Nights, first book in the Mac Reilly series, is set in modern-day Malibu, Baja California, Palm Springs, Rome, Cannes, and the French countryside. The story's characters belong to the "jet set": Hollywood stars and moguls, millionaires with mansions, and the people who work for them. Protagonist Mac Reilly is a television actor private eye. His girlfriend Sunny (Sonora Sky Coto de Alvarez) wishes Mac would propose.

Mac lives in a Malibu Colony bungalow with his dog Pirate, rescued from a highway. While strolling on the beach late at night, Mac hears a woman scream and goes to help. She shoots at him and he flees. Next day millionaire Ron Perrin, in whose house the woman screamed, denies the event but wants to hire Mac to discover who has been following him. Allie Ray, the movie star wife Ron is divorcing, also wants to hire Mac to discover who has been following her, and sending threatening notes.

While he is vacationing in Rome with Sunny, Mac encounters the woman who had screamed and shot at him in Malibu. Marisa tells him she is Ron's fiancee, flaunts a huge diamond ring, and asks Mac to find Ron, who has disappeared.

When Mac returns from Rome, Ron's right-hand man Sam Demarco also asks Mac to find Ron, and to find out what the FBI wants from Ron.

Famous movie star Allie Ray had humble beginnings, and she is lonely surrounded by luxury. She plans to return to being Mary Allison Raycheck one day. But first she must do her job: appear in Cannes at her film release party.

Mac meets another PI who thinks Ron killed his girlfriend. Sunny and Mac travel to Palm Springs looking for clues and find a body. They investigate all the people in Ron's and Allie's lives, wondering who might carry a grudge.

Allie Ray escapes fame & fortune to the French countryside, where she works in a restaurant. She becomes interested in a local landowner, but still misses and loves her husband.

Sunny goes on trip by herself to Baja CA and finds Ron, but then loses him.

Sunny and Mac go back to Rome, where they find another body. One of Allie's friends tells Sunny where Allie is, just before a newspaper reporter tells the world. Mac finally learns who the killer is, and races to save Allie and Sunny in France.

I found the book shallow and many descriptions melodramatic. It likely appeals to readers who follow movie stars and celebrities. The author uses dogs and their relationships with their owners to illustrate shallow lives as well as true-blue characters. Mac and Sunny will continue investigating together and jet-setting around the world, but I don't plan to read any more of the series.

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