Hall of Fame Review: The Santangelos by Jackie Collins

Tuesday 7 July 2015
Title: The Santangelos
Author: Jackie Collins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 16th June 2015 (US) / 10th September 2015 (UK)
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9781471112492
Source: Review Copy / Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon UK / US
A vicious hit, a vengeful enemy, a drug addled Colombian club owner and a sex crazed Italian family... the ever powerful Lucky Santangelo has to deal with them all.

Meanwhile Max - her teenage daughter - is becoming the 'it' girl in Europe's modeling world. And her Kennedyesque son, Bobby, is being set up for a murder he didn't commit. But Lucky can deal. Always strong and unpredictable, with her husband Lennie by her side, she lives up to the family motto - Never f**k with a Santangelo.

Lucky rules ...the Santangelos always come out on top. The Santangelos is an epic family saga filled with love, lust, revenge and passion.

Jackie Collins is my all-time favourite author, so to say I was excited about The Santangelos would be quite the understatement. I preordered a copy from the US and then received an early copy from Simon and Schuster which was a fantastic surprise. I can still remember the first time I picked up Chances, I completely lost myself in the world that Jackie had created. Chances is the book that started the whole Santangelo saga off, and introduced readers to the incomparable Lucky Santangelo, my favourite fictional character ever. The Santangelos is the best book I have read this year, and proves that Jackie Collins has still got it (always will). The Santangelos can be read as a standalone as there's plenty of recaps throughout of how the family got to where they are today.

The Santangelos has everything you could possibly want and expect from the Queen of this genre. It's also quite a difficult book to discuss because of just how much drama is packed into the story. Jackie has revealed this herself so it's no great spoiler but there's a murder in the novel, which sees Lucky once again seeking vengeance. I wish I could say who it was (not hard to guess) but I was with Lucky every step of the way. For those who are meeting her for the first time in The Santangelos she appears quite tamer than her early incarnations, yet she's still fiercely loyal to her family, and she just exudes glamour, money, power and sex. She's just got the lot and that makes her such a fun character to read about. The world she inhabits is so addictive to read about, so ridiculously decadent I so wish I could visit Lucky's Vegas, splitting my time between the Keys and the Marigiano both of which just sound so amazing.

Jackie's novels have a real addictive quality to them because of how fast everything moves. Each chapter following a different character, setting the scene for what's about to come, and for that dramatic finale when all of the threads start to converge. Lucky's two children are continuing to make their own way in the world. Now adults Bobby has made a name for himself without the help of his family connections, but he soon finds himself in trouble when he is framed for a murder that he didn't commit. Bobby's sister Max meanwhile is making a name for herself as a fashion model, achieving her own success also. I pictured her as Kendall Jenner. In fact I've always said Lucky could be Kris Jenner especially as she gets older. For much of the book Max is off doing her own thing and much of the drama centres around Lucky having to cope with somebody who is out for revenge as well as trying to work out who could be setting Bobby up and we also follow the various other characters that make up the story, one of my favourites being Willow. There's also plenty of mentions of and appearances from a number of Jackie's characters from across her books.

There's every single type of character you expect to find in Hollywood here, and as always one is left wondering just what and who is fictional and what isn't. Some of the characters are outrageous, and some are just so downright hateful that I spent half the book hoping they would soon get their comeuppance. As the story draws to a close I just couldn't put the book down, but at the same time was gutted that I was nearing the end. It is a 500-plus page book but I wanted another 500! It's clear that Jackie has a lot of love for the Santangelos and that shines through in her writing. Looking at the series as a whole I think there's a timeless quality to Jackie's work. Even reading Chances now it doesn't have that dated feeling you would expect from a book written in the eighties. The Santangelos are a family with countless enemies and there's always scope to continue their story and so I hope Jackie returns to the family in the future. I've said it before though and I'll say it again, still waiting for Jackie's autobiography which I always say would be a fantastic read in itself. For fans old and new The Santangelos does not disappoint.


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