I have had a soft spot for Tasmina Perry ever since the release of DADDY’S GIRLS in 2006. She writes the kind of glitzy novels you want to invest yourself in. She does not always hit bull’s eye but she always comes close. One thing she’s done right is make the trashy novel (or bonkbuster if you will) hot again after a dormant decade or so. I admit I have yet to read all of her backlist but I’m getting there. One I did savour is her latest, FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (available now in any book format), which was handed to me by the folks at Headline and NetGalley and which deserves to hit the best-seller list just as well.
FRIEND OF THE FAMILY features yet again a strong independent woman who this time is an editor for a fashion magazine. Her name is Amy and she is happily married with child. When a spot opens at a rival magazine she jumps at the chance of getting the position despite being already swamped by responsibilities like taking on a friend’s daughter as an intern and letting her stay at her house. When her regular nanny is suddenly injured, Josie, the intern, agrees to take the nanny’s place for the duration of the family vacation in Provence. But of course things turn quickly sour when Amy starts suspecting Josie of deliberately sabotaging her life. If right, can she stop her before it’s too late?
This variation of THE HANDS THAT ROCK THE CRADLE and SINGLE WHITE FEMALE may be nothing new but done well it is just as riveting. Tasmina Perry has what many glam fiction novelists lack nowadays: the ability to make you care about the characters. FRIEND OF THE FAMILY is filled with interesting people who are far from being perfect. The book is a cross between a suspense thriller and a glitzy novel and is carefully thought-out. If having a front seat view of the well-to-dos (exotic locations, beautiful gowns, glam shoots) is your thing, then look no further—and it will give you chills as an extra. The novel also goes back and forth in time to cement the tumultuous lives of certain characters. And that climax, trust me on this, it does not disappoint. Yes, FRIEND OF THE FAMILY is a must-read. Brava, Miss Perry.
Until next post—Martin