USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner follows up her acclaimed thrillers The Givenchy Code and The Manolo Matrix with a whip-smart new adventure in code-breaking -- Hollywood-style!
Devi Taylor was one of Hollywood's fastest-rising starlets -- until a crazed fan held her at knifepoint and she retreated to a life of privacy and Valium. Now recovered and ready for a comeback, Devi dreams of endorsing all things Prada, whose Rodeo Drive store she can't resist. Instead, she lands the starring role in The Givenchy Code, a high-budget action-adventure flick. But with the tabloids all over Givenchy and her recent split with her drop-dead handsome costar, Blake, Devi can't shake the feeling that another crazed fan is going to strike.
Then a frightening message -- "Play or Die" -- is delivered to Devi's house, and she finds herself sucked into a deadly and cryptic game not unlike the one in the movie she's starring in. Hollywood has always been her life, but does Devi know its secrets well enough to follow the cinematic clues that might save her and her favorite Prada bag?
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April 02, 2007
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Excerpt from The Prada Paradox by Julie Kenner
Someone put a bullet in my boyfriend's brain!
As I race down the street, propelled by terror, I can still see the image in my mind, and the thought of it makes my stomach turn. The blood and gore on his pillow. The gaping hole above his ear.
My heart stutters, and a stitch burns in my side. Move, Mel, I think. Just move! I'm barefooted, and tiny stones poke into the soles of my feet. I ignore the pain and press on toward safety. Toward home.
I'm almost there, and I keep my focus on that simple green door. Reach the door, open the door, through the door. After that doesn't matter. Not yet. Which is good, because right now my brain can't process any more than those three simple commands. It's too filled with terror and rage and confusion to digest rational thought.
Around me, bright light from fixtures hung precariously on steel poles casts dark shadows, giving this Manhattan street an eerie quality. I barely notice. Just as I barely notice the people standing nearby in clusters, walkie-talkies and cell phones silent in their hands. I glance over them, searching the crowd for the killer. I know deep down that he's not there, but I shove that knowledge away and search. I have to be thorough. I have to be certain.
No one suspicious jumps out at me, and I allow myself one tiny glimpse of hope. My door is right there. Twenty yards. Fifteen. Ten.
And then I'm there. My hand closes around the doorknob, the metal cool against my hands. I twist the knob violently, then shove the door open. One step and I'm over the threshold and --
"Cut!" Tobias Harmon, the director, yells from across the street. "Beautiful, sweetheart! I think we got it this time! That was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant."
I nod acknowledgment, but don't look at him. I'm too busy shaking off the fear that I've been wallowing in for the last five takes.
My name is Devi Taylor. I'm an actress. And for me, this part is the role of a lifetime.
Copyright (c) 2007 by Julie Kenner