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The Kill Fee [Hardcover]

Laura Van Wormer
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 2 2006 Van Womer, Laura
Life is never dull for the ever-attractive and impulsive Sally Harrington, but why can't the thirtysomething DBS News producer ever catch a break?

It all starts when Sally's great-uncle Percy discovers he might own some land across the Connecticut border in New York. Sounds kind of interesting, but Sally is sidetracked by a staggering job offer that suddenly makes her the focus of a national publicity campaign, complete with her own set of stalkers in her hometown of Castleford. When Sally finally gets a chance to investigate Uncle Percy's possible land interests, she finds herself right in the middle of an attempted-murder investigation -- and she's the prime suspect.

In the meantime, Paul McWilliams, the twenty-five-year-old police officer Sally recently "met" in Southern California, has arrived. He claims he's moved east merely to attend law school, but it's more likely he's made the move to be closer to Sally. And just when Sally decides that she will seriously pursue this relationship -- a relationship with a younger man -- she meets an older man, a married man, who seems to be falling for her as hard as she fears she's falling for him.

And where, in all this, is Great-Uncle Percy? In danger, that's where, and as Sally dodges bad guys and good guys and boyfriends and impatient TV executives, she enlists the help of an unlikely ally to hide Uncle Percy in Florida. Uncle Percy, Sally learns, has inadvertently tripped up a foreign interest that has a large group of New York land speculators, politicians, lobbyists and organized crime family members on their payroll.

Now it's up to Sally to somehow save her uncle before it's too late.

Navigating life with Sally Harrington is not always easy, but what an utterly marvelous ride it can be. The Kill Fee is no exception. So sit back, fasten your seat belt and let Sally take you for a spin . . .


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the fifth installment of Van Wormer's Sally Harrington series, attractive go-getter Sally narrates the latest adventures in her sensational life in a WASP-y, plucky first person. She's just gotten involved with Paul, a young policeman from a moneyed family who has moved all the way to Connecticut to be by her side while he attends law school; she's also conducting an intense flirtation with a married man. Meanwhile, she scores a million-dollar job as a national anchor at the New York TV station where she's executive producer, while her great-uncle Percy, who, at 84, is happily ensconced in a tony retirement community, has gotten his own mysterious property windfall. As Sally investigates her uncle's supposed new land outside Hillstone Falls, N.Y., she entangles herself in a dangerous organized crime land speculation scheme and attempted murder plot. As in previous adventures, such as The Last Lover, Sally becomes the prime suspect. The pace is fast and the writing efficient, moving from upper-crust gloss ("Alexandra is wearing a dark blue suit today, looking very very, if you know what I mean, complete with Tiffany pearl earrings") to gritty matter-of-fact ("I choke on the blood that is streaming down the back of my throat again and have to spit some more out") with ease. Although the book relies heavily on repackaged clich‚s of the American dream of wealth, prestige and fabulousness, Van Wormer supplies genuinely suspenseful moments, tasteful, deftly written love scenes and an ending that packs an emotional punch.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

TV journalist Sally Harrington's life is in disarray. Her young flame, California cop Paul McWilliams, has moved to Connecticut to go to law school. Her great-uncle has received a strange letter about an unknown legacy. A stalker is haunting her mother's house. Her boss's attractive married brother is visiting, and she's been offered her choice of two plum jobs at the network. To promote her upcoming gig as anchor of a morning news show, she agrees to be interviewed by a creepy former tabloid reporter, who ends up in critical condition after accompanying Sally on a trip to research the land supposedly left to her uncle. Van Wormer's fifth Sally Harrington novel is an entertaining combination of light romance and suspense. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
When her uncle gets an offer to buy five acres he doesn't even know he owns, he tasks Sally Harrington with the job of finding out what is going on. What she finds is a mob plan to build a huge polluting cement factory in the middle of her upper class idealic community. Sally wants to break the story, but she has problems of her own. Should she take the million-dollar a year job as a talk-show hostess, or stick with the news division, have more job security, but only own three hundred thousand? And then there's the tough choice between the hunky twenty-five year old cop/law student who loves her and the hunky fourty-something married man who she can't stop flirting with.
Sally's life gets more complicated when a reporter doing an interview with her gets clobbered in the middle of the interview and left for dead. Although the cover copy indicates that she's the suspect, she isn't (don't blame author Laura Van Wormer for this one--authors have no control over cover copy), but she does have problems because the Mafia really wants the five acres her uncle owns and will do just about anything to get it.
In an exciting action scene, Sally confronts a couple of mobsters with a huge Cadillac SUV and gets her T.V. anchor-person looks messed up. Unfortunately, that's about the only action THE KILL FEE has to offer and the story sort of fizzles out without any adequate resolution.
Author Laura Van Wormer is a talented writer whose effortless prose keeps the reader involved. In this story, however, I found Sally Harrington unsympathetic, wishy-washy, and given too much good fortune to be a really sympathetic heroine.
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Format:Hardcover
I could not wait to read the latest installment in the saga of Sally Harrington. In fact, I went to three bookstores to find it! It is really enjoyable to follow Sally's latest escapades and to follow her meteoric rise at DBS. Unfortunately, Ms. Van Wormer seems to have lost some energy for fully fleshing out her story. There should have been at least another 100 pages here to fully realize the plot line. Sally's love life is taking too many twists and she is beginning to come off as immature rather than a "victim of circumstance" as she did in the past. Rather than being a full fleshed out character, Paul is just a tool to move the plot along. In "The Bad Witness" the book concluded with some promise of Paul and Sally's relationship taking off. Paul is introduced in this new volume merely to become someone to look after Sally's mother. What a waste of Paul! I'm not sure I like where this series is going, but I sure have loved Sally Harrington up until now. Laura Van Wormer needs to get her back on track!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Much better, but not long enough! Nov. 12 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Sally Harrington's life never has a dull moment, and this book is no exception!
The Kill Fee was by far better than Ms. Van Wormer's last two efforts, Trouble Becomes Her and The Bad Witness; however, I feel there were several opportunities missed:
1. There were enough story lines going on that this could have gone into the same level of scope, detail and content that Riverside Drive and West End have.
2. This book could have easily been twice as long (it is only 300 pages).
3. Again, too much focus on Sally's getting in trouble and messed up love life (the latter seeming forced and concocted for the sake of the storyline), which sacrificed the focus on her career finally taking off.
There were several loose ends left dangling, and now we'll just have to wait another year or two for the next book, which is disappointing after waiting over a year for this one!
Don't get me wrong, after the slow start, the story picked up quickly and it was a very engrossing read, but I was disappointed when the book left all those ends dangling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars engaging Harrington thriller Nov. 7 2003
Format:Hardcover
In Castleford, Connecticut, octogenarian Percy Harrington gives a letter he received to his great niece Sally Harrington to check into. Apparently, somehow Percy owns some property in Hillstone Falls, New York and the Western Connecticut Land Trust Company wants to buy that land.
Sally's West Coast lover, former Hollywood cop Paul Fitzwilliam has transferred to the New Haven force to attend a nearby law school at night. Her boss at DBS News Alexandra Waring is angry and upset as the brass wants Sally to take over for the ailing pregnant Jessica Wright on the latter's talk show. Alexandra offers Sally less money, but a raise if she is willing to work the am news as co-anchor with Emmett Phelps. Sally excitedly accepts, as news is what she prefers to do.
Sally learns that her uncle's five acres are in the middle of a major industrial project that has Mafia backing. The mob comes after her to insure she remains silent and her uncle sells.
The fifth Harrington tale is an engaging thriller that is incredibly realistic especially the ending, but will put off idealistic fans of the series. Sally remains a strong intrepid heroine that has made her a favorite. Still, the story line starts a bit slow as the support players are brought into focus, but once Sally crosses the state line, the action never slows down until the final checkmate occurs.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an engaging feminine character that men can identify with as well as women July 22 2005
By James Neville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just discovered the Sally Harrington novels and, with "Kill Fee", have caught up on all to date. These novels feature an engaging, independent, very feminine, very ambition-driven journalism/television writer/producer/"talent" named Sally Harrington. At first I thought each novel (there are 5 so far) would be an independent episode in Sally's life. But the stories build an accumulating overall story about how Sally gains increasing professional recognition and opportunities while (ahem) exploring what type of man she wants in her long-term love life and (very busy life!) simultaneously doing battle with bad guys in organized crime. The plots are intricate with some bad guys becoming good guys and vice versa.

There is plenty of action (sexual as well as fighting) and somehow in all of it there are repeating human touches that I MIGHT have called "chick lit" EXCEPT I'm a guy and I like the touches... for example, when characters talk about career choices, family etc.

So in today's culture I find Sally Harrington an engaging feminine character that men can identify with as well as women. She is successful in a profession where competence, ambition, and beauty are requisites just to get in the game.

My only complaint with "Kill Fee" is that I have to wait for the next installment, and having checked out Laura Van Wormer's web site, find that she's writing some OTHER book first. Well, I suppose I could read the OTHER things she's written, now that I discovered Sally...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging Harrington thriller Nov. 7 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In Castleford, Connecticut, octogenarian Percy Harrington gives a letter he received to his great niece Sally Harrington to check into. Apparently, somehow Percy owns some property in Hillstone Falls, New York and the Western Connecticut Land Trust Company wants to buy that land.
Sally's West Coast lover, former Hollywood cop Paul Fitzwilliam has transferred to the New Haven force to attend a nearby law school at night. Her boss at DBS News Alexandra Waring is angry and upset as the brass wants Sally to take over for the ailing pregnant Jessica Wright on the latter's talk show. Alexandra offers Sally less money, but a raise if she is willing to work the am news as co-anchor with Emmett Phelps. Sally excitedly accepts, as news is what she prefers to do.
Sally learns that her uncle's five acres are in the middle of a major industrial project that has Mafia backing. The mob comes after her to insure she remains silent and her uncle sells.
The fifth Harrington tale is an engaging thriller that is incredibly realistic especially the ending, but will put off idealistic fans of the series. Sally remains a strong intrepid heroine that has made her a favorite. Still, the story line starts a bit slow as the support players are brought into focus, but once Sally crosses the state line, the action never slows down until the final checkmate occurs.
Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better, but not long enough! Nov. 12 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Sally Harrington's life never has a dull moment, and this book is no exception!
The Kill Fee was by far better than Ms. Van Wormer's last two efforts, Trouble Becomes Her and The Bad Witness; however, I feel there were several opportunities missed:
1. There were enough story lines going on that this could have gone into the same level of scope, detail and content that Riverside Drive and West End have.
2. This book could have easily been twice as long (it is only 300 pages).
3. Again, too much focus on Sally's getting in trouble and messed up love life (the latter seeming forced and concocted for the sake of the storyline), which sacrificed the focus on her career finally taking off.
There were several loose ends left dangling, and now we'll just have to wait another year or two for the next book, which is disappointing after waiting over a year for this one!
Don't get me wrong, after the slow start, the story picked up quickly and it was a very engrossing read, but I was disappointed when the book left all those ends dangling.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Sally Harrington losing steam- or just Laura Van Wormer? Nov. 28 2003
By Nancy A. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I could not wait to read the latest installment in the saga of Sally Harrington. In fact, I went to three bookstores to find it! It is really enjoyable to follow Sally's latest escapades and to follow her meteoric rise at DBS. Unfortunately, Ms. Van Wormer seems to have lost some energy for fully fleshing out her story. There should have been at least another 100 pages here to fully realize the plot line. Sally's love life is taking too many twists and she is beginning to come off as immature rather than a "victim of circumstance" as she did in the past. Rather than being a full fleshed out character, Paul is just a tool to move the plot along. In "The Bad Witness" the book concluded with some promise of Paul and Sally's relationship taking off. Paul is introduced in this new volume merely to become someone to look after Sally's mother. What a waste of Paul! I'm not sure I like where this series is going, but I sure have loved Sally Harrington up until now. Laura Van Wormer needs to get her back on track!
3.0 out of 5 stars Is there a target audience? Sept. 10 2004
By newbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Was the target audience for this book women or feminists? I enjoyed the book, but it seemed to go way over the top in "let's use gender casting of characters that show how far women have come in corporate/professional America". Every strong, "self-made", ethical character was a women. Sally's boss - a woman; Sally's boss' secretary - a man; the doctor who treated her - a woman; the nurse - a man. Sally herself is a rising star pulling down 6 figures, and her boy-friend is a cop struggling to get into law. The significant male characters were relegated to gangsters, aging patriarchs, slimy reporters, or love interests (although Sally's boss has solved the male lover problem). It gets annoying after a while.

Finally if you are someone who expects the end of a novel to wrap most of the loose ends, and make justice prevail, you will be disappointed.
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