Picks and Pans Review: The Ladies'lunch

updated 08/15/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/15/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Patricia O'Brien

WHEN FAITH PAIGE, THE PRESIDENT'S QUICK-witted, vivacious press secretary, is found dead in the Potomac, her four closest friends refuse to believe she killed herself. These members of the so-called ladies' lunch—Sara Marino, nominee to the Supreme Court; Leona Maccoby, one of D.C.'s primo caterers; Carol Lundeen, a congresswoman from Maryland; and journalist Maggie Steadman—all accept that Faith had seemed a bit depressed of late, distracted and frantic about money. As they become more and more certain that foul play—in very high places—is involved, Faith's death becomes the catalyst for the ladies to reexamine their lives and priorities. O'Brien isn't a particularly felicitous stylist—the dialogue rarely rises above the level of slick soap opera—but this is pulp with plenty of juice. (Simon & Schuster, $22)

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