Book review: Latest Accessory by Tyne O'Connell; Blonde Ambition by Samantha Phillips
Thursday 11 December 1997
But ruled by such things these girls are not. Money and shopping are far more interesting. Resurfacing in Latest Accessory from Tyne O'Connell's first novel, Sex, Lies and Litigation, 27-year-old Aussie barrister Evelyn Hornton is still a respected member of one of the classiest set of chambers in town. She earns enough to pay a mortgage on some seriously hip loft space in Clerkenwell - though not enough to pay off her ever-mounting Harvey Nichols charge card. In fact the only fly in Evelyn's ointment is the presence of a stalker - a man in a Littlewoods mac who has taken to following her down St John Street and urinating in shop doorways.
As an excuse for a story line, the stalker is a bit of a damp squib. In fact it's just an excuse to introduce Rory, a private detective of Irish-American descent with impeccable pecs and "Chesterfield arms". His mission - to protect Evelyn from the Dirty Mac, and stop her falling in lust with her latest client, a pony-tailed dude called Matt Barton - up for fraud and seriously sleazy intentions.
Like fellow Antipodean Kathy Lette, O'Connell writes in a hail of exclamation points and "Per-leeze!"s. But considering that she manages to pull off a scenario featuring a blow-up doll with a black penis, a rad-fem Rodean head-girl and a cat fight in a sushi bar, she writes pretty well.
More likely to shop at Harrods than Harvey Nicks - but also the possessor of an Oxford First - Samantha Phillips's straight-talking heroine in Blonde Ambition, Charlie Christie, has rubbed up against some tough nuts in her brief career. An entry-level insurance broker working for the nobbish firm Fitzgerald Denton, she's intoxicated by the cut and thrust of life on the floor of Lloyd's, but not so impressed by her managing directors - men who periodically disappear to the gents for a quick wank, leaving her with the photocopying and buzzing mobiles.
Needless to say, our Charlie gets back at the boys where it hurts. Discovering a scam that nearly brings Lloyd's to its knees, she makes sure Henry, Hugo and Rupert and never get to see a decent Christmas bonus again. And given that the book is semi-autobiographical - in 1994 Phillips successfully sued her City employers for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination - this is all pretty tasty stuff.
Told in a Home Counties tones of a budding Joanna Trollope, Charlie's life doesn't buzz with the same Prozacian energy levels emitted by Evelyn, though just like her, Charlie eventually lands a truly clitoral moment in the arms of a Irish dream-boat. Not a suit from the city, but a vet from Donegal... Per-leeze!
Headline Review, pounds 9.99. Arrow, pounds 5.99
Life & Style blogs
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
The Last of Us: Ashley Johnson says she would play Ellie in a sequel
UK police to start seizing drivers' mobile phones after all crashes
Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45
- < Previous
- Next >
£22000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary English Teacher...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Central...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Qualified Teachers needed for Supply in t...
£100 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Are you a fully qualified ...