Here’s another author I discovered recently. Her name is Lorayne Ashton but she is really Ted Gottfried—and not the other bogus biographical Rita Picker pseudonym at the end of the novel. He has written a dozen of trashy best-sellers under two women’s names. From Ashton to Kathleen Fuller (no relation to the historical romance writer of the same name), his tales revolve around the super rich in a Dynasty-esque setting—which comes as no surprise since the TV series was still drawing enough viewers back then. The novel I was introduced to is the first of a seven book series. Written in 1987, it focuses on many characters living at 777 Park Avenue. Now, I know what you’re all thinking, and I agree. You can definitely smell the influence of Harold Robbins in the title, but rest assured the plot is completely different. In fact, in PARK AVENUE (yes, without the numbers) nothing reminds of Robbins, except perhaps the narrative, which, come to think of it, is a lot stronger. However, the overall effect fails to be up to par.
Still as a whole it’s never boring. You may not find yourself flipping pages quickly to see what happens next but you won’t skip parts either. Furthermore, Gottfried does a pretty good job on his characterization, making some of his people interesting underneath their tame adventures. As for the book ‘80s feel, you can clearly feel the author’s flair for the era, not to mention the sometimes saucy dialogue. But I got to admit that it’s the strong climax that really hooked me. You’ll definitely be left with wanting more, and in the end that’s all one asks for, isn’t it?