Book Title: The A-Lister
Author: Joe Mott
Date Published: 13 July 2012
Womanising Showbiz reporter Jack Stamp embarks on a mission to save a beautiful pop star from the clutches of a criminal mastermind selling celebrities to billionaires for sex.
Along the way, Jack must fight for his job, his life and his love whilst trying to land the biggest scoop of his career.
Inspired by author Joe Mott's years as a tabloid columnist, all the characters in this rip-roaring adventure are based on the people he met in almost a decade in newspapers and showbusiness.
Watch out for salacious hidden anecdotes about REAL celebs in every chapter.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a most intriguing, thrilling and suspenseful journey into shady world of the celebrity. I really enjoyed it! However, if I saw this book in my local book store, I'm not sure I would have picked it up. The cover just didn't grab me as it should have. Keep it simple is my motto, but this cover is perhaps too simple in my opinion. It needs more "bling" to catch a reader's eye. This story, after all, is about celebrities and should have a bit more "flash" to it.
Jack Stamp is a character I found to be rather arrogant and a bit of a jerk. He's a notorious womaniser, who's sexual innuendo and "playfulness" would have seen him in an employment tribunal for sexual harassment in any other job. I didn't really care for him that much. Although, he has some likable qualities too, such as loyalty and determination, and he has a nose for a good story. But, he has been riding on his reputation as an ace showbiz reporter for quite some time and has become lazy, and he knows it. When a desperate pop star enlists his help in exposing a sex slave ring, he jumps at the chance of salvaging his career with the biggest scoop of his life.
I am not one who actively follows celebrity gossip, as I feel a person's private life should remain that - private. Therefore, when I started to read this book, I had an open mind and had no preconceived idea what I would find within the pages of this book. What I found was an exciting, thrilling and shocking roller coaster ride that kept me hooked from beginning to end!
The story is written from the point of view of Jack Stamp, who's jaded and cynical view of the celebrities he writes about to be quite insightful and frightening at the same time. The story takes the reader through the shadier side of the celebrity life which, although it saddens me, doesn't completely shock me. Drugs, blackmail, prostitution and sex seem to go hand in hand with greed. Greed (or should I say lust?) for power is just as dangerous as greed for money. Both of these deadly sins run rampant throughout the story. The mastermind behind the sex slavery business is shrouded in mystery for most of the story, and it kept me guessing for quite some time. However, my own "spidey" sense, honed by reading dozens of mysteries over the years, tingled, and my suspicions were proved correct as to who the culprit was when they were revealed.
What struck me most about this story is how complicit the pop star was in all of this. Her motivation in contacting Jack, and then diving straight back into the seedy underbelly, confused me. I don't want to sound harsh, but if someone is asking for help, they usually want to get out of the mess they are in, not go jumping back in without a backward glance! But, I suppose, that's the only life she knows and is too scared to change. Unfortunately, the abused don't always seek safety - better the devil and all that.
As I have said previously, I am not one for reading celebrity gossip magazines or articles in the newspaper, so most of the "real" celebrities supposedly sprinkled throughout the story made no difference to me with regards to the tale. However, to say that this book is Joe Mott's debut novel, you can tell he has been in the writing trade for many years. His characters are very lifelike and his descriptions of places and scenes were extremely vivid; I had no problem in picturing them in my mind's eye. Though the story is fast paced, I did find some scenes slowed the flow down a bit; especially those with the mysterious mastermind and his henchmen in. Nevertheless, I would definitely consider reading more of this author's books in the future.
I recommend this book if you love mysteries, thrillers or suspense novels. - Lynn Worton
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