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
How old is your heart? US research finds three out of four people have hearts five years older than their actual age
iPhone 6s Plus photos: leaks show Force Touch display, subtly altered size
Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
How to discover who your best friends are on WhatsApp - using a tool within the application
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
£17000 - £17800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to work ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a digital speci...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...