One of the biggest thrills I get from doing this blog is to find forgotten authors and put the spotlight on one of their books. This week it’s Leslie Deane’s THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN HAIR (Jove, 1978). Of course I know zilch about this novelist except the fact that she has penned a couple of other glitzy paperbacks before disappearing for good in 1983. A shame, since, based on this title alone, she is very good at what she does.
The setup is ‘70s Hollywood. One is an up-and-coming beautiful actress, the other is her down on his luck famous hubby, and in between comes this loud-mouth agent from hell who uses her wit and connections to destroy what was once considered the happiest marriage in La-La land. Along with those three highly-entertaining players you also get glitz, glamour, sexual situations, romantic get-togethers, lies, tears, forgiveness… But most importantly you get a narratively-impressive offering worthy of any Judith Krantz novels.
There have been tons of beach reads like this one since la Krantz made it big with SCRUPLES that same year. Most are forgotten by now (except by moi of course). This Leslie Deane’s piece shouldn’t be one of them. It is as compelling as any current best-seller on the market. In fact, the name Leslie Deane should be on everybody’s lips. She certainly has what it takes to be just as good if not better than any household name in this genre. Sure, her concocted plot may be heavily borrowed from the real-life Farrah Fawcett/Lee Majors’ union of the same era (Clueless? Google it), but its fast-paced delivery and its impressionable twists and turns make THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN HAIR an original effort on its own. Besides, who wouldn’t go for a gripping tale of ambition and revenge when it is done right? So do yourself a favor and get this vintage treat ASAP. You’ll thank me later.
Until next post—Martin