The Love Killers

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Beth, Lara and Rio -- three exotic women with a
common cause and vengeance in their hearts.

They're out to ...

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Beth, Lara and Rio -- three exotic women with a
common cause and vengeance in their hearts.

They're out to avenge a murder and they'll go to any lengths. Their targets:
the heirs of the Bassalino crime family. Their weapon: sex. The result: a
bloodbath of sexual mayhem through the lethal corridors of organized crime.

Three beautiful women set out to prove that when it comes to revenge, the
female is far deadlier than the male -- especially when they're THE LOVE

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Jackie Collins pulls out all the stops, with a strong vein of suspense... you'll have a marvelous time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671737863
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 2/15/1989
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie Collins
Jackie Collins is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. With over 500 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries and 28 New York Times bestsellers to her credit, she is known for giving her readers an unrivaled insider’s knowledge of Hollywood and the glamorous lives (and loves) of the rich, famous, and infamous!


Louis Malle may have branded Jackie Collins a "raunchy moralist," but it wasn't her sense of ethical propriety that had her in a snit when Kenneth Starr dutifully reported to the nation the details of the pseudo-coupling between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It was her literary pride. "Everybody said that the Monica Lewinsky stuff in the Starr report was like a Jackie Collins book," she told the Chicago Tribune in 2001, "but if I'd written it, the sex would have been better."

Unquestionably. Jacqueline Susann may be the Emily Bronte of the naughty bits, but Collins is surely Charlotte, having filled her books to the rim with skin since her first novel The World Is Full of Married Men appeared in 1968. Since then, there has been a string of sexy Hollywood moguls, sexy models, sexy wives of Hollywood moguls, sexy divorcées and sexy children of Hollywood moguls in such titles as Chances, Lucky and Throb as well as The Bitch and The Stud (both made into movies starring big sister Joan).

The critics, when they take notice at all, tend to sniff. ("While no one expects Lady Boss to be a literary banquet, certainly a yummy little snack is in order" is about the best to expect from The New York Times.) But those who can look past the satin sheets and champagne flutes see more going on in the Collins canon. Hers is a dissection of the vacuous, viperish entertainment class hiding behind designer sunglasses in Los Angeles. Vanity Fair called her "Hollywood's own Marcel Proust.” The Advocate hinted that she might be the Charles Dickens of Beverly Hills. And Joe Queenan, a Hollywood player himself, said Collins's 1993 novel American Star was nothing less than a lament of the American family's demise.

"It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless -- but it's not entirely either," the Detroit News wrote in a review of Collins's 1983 novel Hollywood Wives. "Jackie Collins has a talent for titillation and a knack for wooing the most reluctant of readers into a plot that spends 15 percent of the time peeking at people in the sack and the other 85 percent daydreaming about it. Deliberately or not, she speaks eloquently of emptiness through the lives of people who would seem to have everything: French poodles, Mexican maids, American Express."

And Judy Bass wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Collins's gimlet eye for detail is what makes her novels such a gas: "Collins caricatures the life styles of the rich and famous with devastating accuracy. She spoofs every nuance of their attire, speech and relationships, never allowing tedium or predictability to dilute the reader's fun."

There are a number of recurring characters in Collins's books, though none better known than Lucky Santangelo, the sexy (natch) film studio owner who has appeared in Lucky, Lady Boss, Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge and Dangerous Kiss. The Lucky series bring together all the required ingredients of a Collins cocktail: the rich and famous, the shifty Hollywood shenanigans, scheming opportunists and a bug-on-the-wall vantage point of every -- or every other -- bedroom in the 90210 zip code.

Time once wrote of a Collins novel that it allowed the reader the rare opportunity to watch adverbs mate. Of course. There's a high art to the lowbrow. The Village Voice, writing in 2000, understood that: "The beauty of the trashy novel is twofold: It's a lightning-quick read, and you can howl in smug superiority as you turn the pages. Lethal Seduction, the latest from well-appointed and leopard-print-swathed Queen of Trash Jackie Collins, is a prime example of page-turning, literary-hauteur-stoking fun."

But it might have been People, reviewing Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge, that most succinctly summed up the contradictory seductiveness of the Jackie Collins novel: "embarrassing to pick up, impossible to put down."

Good To Know

Collins makes a mean meatloaf. "It's the herbs and spices," she told Biography magazine, "and my essence."

Collins spends about a year writing each novel, and does so entirely in longhand.

She eschews the stodgy demands of grammar. "I don't basically understand grammar," she is quoted as saying in Contemporary Popular Writers. "I call myself a street writer. I write purely by instinct. I've decided people don't speak in grammatical conversations.... The important thing is I get people into the bookstores who probably wouldn't be there otherwise."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacqueline Jill Collins (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 4, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England

First Chapter

Chapter One:

"I don't care iyou lose your income, your home, your possessions. Fuck all of it, baby. Just gather up your self-respect and walk right out. To be a prostitute is to be nothing, a mere tool of man. Take no notice of your pimps, your bosses. We will help you. We will give you all the help we can. We will get you so together that your old life will seem like a bad dream."

Margaret Lawrence Brown had been speaking for fifteen minutes, and she paused to sip from a glass of water handed to her on the makeshift podium. The crowd gathered to hear her talk was gratifyingly large. They occupied a vast area of Central Park, mostly women, a few men scattered among them. It was a warm August day in 1974, and her followers had turned out in force.

Margaret's tone was strong and outright. Her voice didn't falter. Her message came across loud and clear.

She was a tall woman in her early thirties. No makeup decorated her strong, radiant face. Her hair was long and black, and she wore denims, boots, and love beads.

Margaret Lawrence Brown was a cult figure in America. A ceaseless campaigner for women's rights, she had won many a victory. She had written three books, appeared on television regularly, and made a great deal of money, all of which she used for her organization, F.W.N. -- Free Women Now.

Everyone had laughed when she'd first taken up the cause of the prostitutes. But they weren't laughing now, not after three months, not after thousands of women appeared to be giving up their chosen profession and following her.

"You've got to get it together now!" Margaret yelled, a determined thrust to her chin.

"Yeah!" the women yelled back.

"You're going to live again. You're going to come alive!"

"Yeah! Yeah!" The reaction from the crowd was gospel in its intensity.

"You're going to be free!" she promised them.


Margaret slumped to the ground while the crowd continued to stamp and shout its approval. Blood spurted from a small, neat hole in the middle of her forehead.

It was minutes before the crowd realized what had happened, before hysteria and panic set in.

Margaret Lawrence Brown had been shot.

The house in Miami could only be approached by passing through electric gates, and then undergoing the scrutiny of two uniformed guards with pistols stuck casually in their belts.

Alio Marcusi passed this scrutiny easily. He was a fat old man, with liquid booze-filled eyes and the walk of a pregnant cat.

As he approached the big house he began humming softly to himself, uncomfortable in his too-tight gray-check suit, sweating from the heat of a cloudless day.

A maid answered his ring at the door. A surly, big-limbed Italian girl, she spoke little English, but she nodded at Alio and told him that Padrone Bassalino was out by the pool.

He patted her on the ass, making his way through the house to the patio that led out to a kidney-shaped swimming pool.

Mary Ann August greeted him. Mary Ann was an exceptionally pretty young woman, with old-fashioned, teased blond hair, and a curvaceous body exhibited in a skimpy polka-dot bikini.

"Hi, there, Alio," she said with a giggle, rising from her lounge. "I was just gonna make myself a little drinkie. Want one?" Posing provocatively in front of him, she toyed with a gold chain hanging between her generous breasts.

Alio contemplated the young vision, licking his lips in anticipation of the day-not far off, surely-when Enzio would grow tired of Mary Ann and pass her on, like all the others.

"Yeah, I'll have a Bacardi, plenty of ice. And some potato chips, mixed nuts, an' a few black olives." He rubbed his extended stomach sorrowfully. "I had no time for lunch. Such a busy day. Where's Enzio?"

Mary Ann gestured out toward the never-ending gardens. "He's around somewhere -- pruning his roses, I think," she said sweetly.

"Ah, yes, his roses." Instinctively Alio glanced back at the house, and sure enough, there she was, Rose Bassalino herself, peering out through a narrow chink in her curtains.

Rose, Enzio's wife. She hadn't left her room for years, and the only people she would talk to were her three sons. Rose kept an endless vigil at her window just waiting and watching. It gave Alio the creeps. He didn't know how Enzio stood it.

Mary Ann swayed over to the bar and began preparing drinks. She was nineteen years old and had lived with Enzio Bassalino for almost six months -- something of a record, for Enzio never kept them around long.

Settling into a chair, Alio slowly closed his eyes. Such a very busy day...

"Hey, ciao, Alio, my friend, my boy. How you feeling?"

Alio awoke with a start and guiltily jumped up.

Enzio loomed over him. Sixty-nine years old, but with the hard, bronzed body of a man half his age, all his own teeth, a craggy, lined face, topped by a mass of thick steel-gray hair.

"I feel good, Enzio, I feel fine," Allo said quickly. They clasped hands, patted each other on the back. They were cousins; Alio owed everything he had to Enzio.

"Can I fix you a drinkie, sweetie-pie?" Mary Ann asked, gazing at Enzio adoringly.

"No." He dismissed her with a look. "Go in the house. I'll ring if I need you."

Mary Ann didn't argue; she obeyed him at once. Perhaps that was why she had lasted longer than the others.

As soon as she was gone Enzio turned to his cousin. "Well?" he asked impatiently.

"It is done," Alio replied in a low voice. "I saw it myself. A masterful job. One of Tony's boys. He vanished before anyone knew what happened. I flew straight here."

Enzio nodded thoughtfully. "There is no greater satisfaction than a perfect hit. This Tony's boy, pay him an extra thousand an' watch him. A man like that could get himself promoted. A public execution is never easy."

"No, it's not," Alio agreed, sucking on a black olive.

"She must be thirty," the woman hissed spitefully.

"Or older," her friend agreed.

Lined, and overly made up, the two middle-aged women watched Lara Crichton climb out of the Mabbella Club pool.

Lara was a perfectly beautiful woman of twenty-six. Slim, suntanned, with rounded, sensual breasts, a mane of sun-streaked hair, and wide, crystal-clear green eyes.

She dropped down on the mat next to Prince Alfredo Masserini and sighed loudly. "I'm getting bored with this place," she said restlessly. "Can't we go somewhere else?"

Prince AIfredo sat up. "Why are you bored?" he demanded. "Am I boring you? Why should you be bored when you are with me?"

Lara sighed again. Yes, the truth of the matter was the prince could be very boring indeed.

But who else was there? She'd made it a rule never to let go of anyone until there was someone else firmly ensconced in his place. She had been through most of the available princes and counts, a few movie stars, and a lord or two. It really was tiresome she had set herself such high standards.

"I don't understand you," Prince Alfredo complained. "No woman has ever told me she was bored with me. I am not a boring man. I am vibrant, lively. I am -- how you say -- the life and brains of the party."

Lara noticed with an even heavier sigh that as he spoke he was getting an erection in his nifty Cerruti shorts.

"Oh, God, do shut up," she muttered under her breath. Sex was becoming the biggest bore of all. So predictable, worked out, and mechanical.

Prince Alfredo did not hear her. "Come, my darling." Aware of his erection, and proud, he pulled her to her feet. "First we take a rest." He winked slyly. "And then we drive the Ferrari into the mountains. What do you think, my lovely?"

"Whatever you say." Reluctantly she allowed herself to be led inside. All eyes followed them as they left. They certainly made a beautiful and exciting couple.

They had separate suites, but by unspoken agreement all sexual activity took place in Lara's. She stopped him from entering at the door.

"What's the matter?" he asked indignantly. "I have a good hard-on -- a very good one."

"Save it for later," she said firmly, closing the door on his protests. "I'll call you when I wake up."

Lara felt restless and hemmed in. A feeling she had often felt when married to Jamie P. Crichton. A divorce had solved the feeling then, but what now?

The phone rang and she picked it up, ready to tell Alfredo no -- definitely no. But it was not the prince. The operator informed her it was an urgent call from New York.

"Yes?" She cradled the receiver, wondering who knew she was in Spain.

"Lara? Lara, is that you? Oh, God! This is such a terrible connection." It was a woman's voice, her tone bordering on hysterical.

"Who is this?" Lara asked sharply. "God! Can't you hear me? Goddamn it -- this is Cass." A pause, then, "Lara, something terrible has happened. Margaret's been shot. They've shot Margaret."

Copyright © 1974, 1989 by Jackie Collins

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2012

    Beth, Lara, and Rio are all women out to get revenge for Margare

    Beth, Lara, and Rio are all women out to get revenge for Margaret’s murder.  A murder committed by the renown Bassalino crime family.  Their revenge is by sex, therefore destroying each of the sons of this infamous family.

    I did not think this book was quite a Jackie Collin’s style as others I have read, and she is one of my favorite authors.  There is sex, although not quite as much as usual or quite as hot, murder, and crime in the story as Collins is known for.  Do not get me wrong , I liked the novel, I could not put it down.

    As each of the Bassalino heirs met up with the woman assigned to cause their destruction, I wondered where the sex would lead and how it would cause their demise.  I have to say that the story between Beth and Frank was my favorite.  Beth’s innocence was amazing, and how she overcame that innocence to do her job kept me riveted   Rio’s outrageous behavior, which I believe is her normal behavior, mad me laugh, shudder, and shake my head.  She definitely showed Angelo a different life then he was use to.  Lara and Nick (sigh), oh my, who could dream you would fall in love with part of the family that caused the murder of your sister.

    Love Killers is an easy book to read and very entertaining.  I enjoy it very much and recommend it to all my fellow Jackie Collins fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011


    While the book wasn't boring, it wasn't as spectacular as the reviews before me are saying. I didn't enjoy the plot or the characters whatsoever, and Collin's depiction of gangsters wasn't 100% accurate. The gangsters main focus was on sex and stardom, which in reality isn't true. The whole plot as a whole was just kind of wacky and unrealistic and the characters were quickly developed. It seems to me as if Collins just dreamt this up one night and wrote a quick little book about the dream. This book just wasn't my cup of tea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Recommend, recommend, recommend!

    Jackie Collins doesn't let us down with this book either. Her books have excellent story lines with just enough spice thrown in. I love all her books. She is one of my favorite authors. The only complaint I have is she doesn't crank her books out often enough!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004


    The Love Killers has always been my favorite book by Jackie Collins. It's an oldie but a goodie! Her characters blend into your imagination as well as the scenery blends into the brilliant pages of Jackie's book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    Brilliant is....Jackie Collins

    A masterful book, I was unable to put it down and have enjoyed reading it again and again. I am compelled at how well Jackie Collins goes into explicit detail of each character, in a way that keeps you enthralled and wanting more. Each character was so passionate, so complex...this book is genius.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000


    I read this book in one day!!! I could not put it down. It was very well written and very suspenseful. You will love the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

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