EW Staff
July 24, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The glitzy world of Fame’s Peril, a first novel by Martha Smilgis, is filled with so many sleazy characters that reading it may make you long for dinner conversation with Tipper Gore. The story begins with the kidnapping of Doni Shay, ”a honey- haired boy with cornflower blue eyes, apple cheeks, and a mischievous smile.” Doni’s dad is a mogul of the Spielbergian variety, and so the crime is big news. Smilgis, a veteran reporter (Time, People), has worked the Hollywood beat for years, and she knows how to tell a story. What she doesn’t know is how to create fresh characters out of the media and entertainment types assembled here. B-

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