DIVA(The Flappers #3)- Jillian Larkin(3 out of 5)
This is the conclusion to the Flappers trilogy. After the first two, I really thought she could stretch it past the first two and beyond the third. After reading this book, definitely not possible the way she wrapped it up in this book. I give her high marks for that. If she suddenly came out with another book, well, it would be contrived and probably boring as hell. She could spin off Lorraine and Melvin, though, into their own series.(Idea?)
Gloria is now in New York with Jerome. Jerome isn’t present through most of the novel, as something sinister happens to him in the first chapter). Gloria is serving time in the slammer, but thanks to Clara’s wildfire writing career, she’s got the attention of the press, the New York social scene, and more importantly, the FBI. The FBI come to her and tell her she can serve her time on the outside, amongst the social scene she so loves, if she helps them put the sting on a notorious reputed gangster. Gloria meets Forrest, the man in question, and quickly befriends him- for real. She witnesses the fact that he’s crazy in love with Ruby, the star of this latest musical. She has great talks with him about books- and you can see the inner struggle between the fact she geniunely likes him and doesn’t want to turn him in. That’s what I like about Larkin’s series- she can write humane sides to cutthroat criminals, and you end up liking them. This is the case with the character of Forrest. In the meantime, Gloria is worrying herself sick about Jerome, who has vanished. And of course, she’s doing her performance thing also. And trying to stay objective to get the job done for the FBI, so she’s done with jail.
Clara is heartbroken over the end of her romance with Marcus. Even more heartbroken when she sees that he is engaged to another. She’s trying to keep her writing career going, to moderate success. She’s the talk of the town with her newspaper exposes, but she’s fighting to get over her broken heart. Another thing about the characters- Larkin writes them having made mistakes like we all do, and despite that, you truly feel their pain in dealing with the consequences of their actions. Clara keeps trying to get over it, and you feel really bad for her in her struggle. But she’s determined, and that goes a long way in this series.
Lorraine? Our local turncoat is up to it again. Not so bad, at least you believe it isn’t, as the last two books. Manipulative? Oh yes, but it’s more muted. Larkin may have intended to soften the hard edges of these girls up a bit, I didn’t want to punch Lorraine in the face as much as I usually do. She’s enrolled in college full time, and completely sober- so she’s doing well. But she’s enrolled at the same school as Marcus, and that’s how she comes into contact with his new fiancee and she goes back to her wicked web of manipulation. Her rooomate and friend Becky informs her that Marcus’ new fiancee has a completely different name, and is therefore scamming him(a gold digger, is the term here)into marriage. He’s still not over Clara completely, and that sets him up to take a fall where his heart is concerned.
How does it end? Read it. Larkin wraps it up all nice. Too nice for my view. I hope that things are going to get blown up, Lorraine is going to have her ass kicked by Clara and Gloria, etc..but they all have their individual concerns. The paths do cross, but it’s not like the first and second books where it was layered for them constantly to be in each other’s lives. I believe Larkin may have done that on purpose, to give the characters their identity for the last time. I am sorry to see the series end, I did enjoy it. I wish it had gone out with even more of a bang than it did, but if it had, it would have sacrificed the wonderful endings that Larkin wrote for the characters. I do honestly say she could spin off Lorraine and Melvin, though.