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The Model Man    by Genie Davis order for
Model Man
by Genie Davis
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Hollywood, the land of pretend, makes the perfect stage for someone like small time con artist Christy Harris. She's never been able to wow producers with her acting skills, but all those acting lessons haven't been in vain: she's got conning the average Joe down to a fine art. Her current persona as a psychic has earned her a growing reputation and put some fancy groceries on the table. Unfortunately it's not the big break Christy and her best friend and partner Louie are looking for. Then, out of the blue, a golden opportunity comes knocking when a gorgeous cop with a Texas drawl, great-fitting jeans and a clever smile wants Christy to read a crime scene.

Christy knows it would be crazy to agree, but there's just something about the handsome homicide cop that sets her heart pattering into overdrive. Before she knows it, she and Joe Richter are searching for clues in the home of the deceased, former male model Ricky Littlejohn. Christy cleverly fakes her way through a reading and an impressed Joe seems convinced she's the real thing. But there are others who have a lot to lose if the wrong people get wind of what had really been going down at the Littlejohn mansion. A few murders and attempted hit-and-runs later, and Christy and Joe aren't sure who to trust anymore - or who's telling the truth.

Christy and Joe are engaging characters, who fall in love first and worry about coming clean with each other later. The plot gets a little convoluted by the time the two lovers finally uncover just who's killed or double-crossed whom. But it's all in good fun and ends up being a minor quibble. The fact that Genie Davis is a screen and TV writer who knows her way around Hollywood, gives her story additional realism. She writes with a winning style. Her tight pacing provides an interesting and at times macabre plot, and she injects tons of irony that will often have you laughing aloud as Christy and Joe balance romance and murder. Readers who enjoy light-hearted romantic mystery with a healthy dollop of comedy will get a real kick out of The Model Man.

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