Killing Kelly Summary
by Heather Graham

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Killing Kelly

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

What could be worse than being the most hated soap opera female villain, the “good sister” turned bad? Being so hated that nowhere is safe, not even sets populated by dozens of actors and crew. Stunts go terribly wrong, threats are communicated, and suddenly, Kelly Trent, who portrays the nasty tempered therapy advice columnist Marla Valentine on the tremendously popular Valentine Valley, has been put on “professional hold.” It looks like she will soon be out of a job.

To protect her career interests, her agent arranges a leading dance role for her in a rock music video for the group Kill Me Quick, just the thing to help her branch out into other forms of television before she is dumped by the soap's producers. As much as Kelly dislikes the idea, since she believes herself to be a terrible dancer, she also fears losing her only source of income, having always squandered her money rather than saving any for a catastrophe such as the impending one. With no nest egg to tide her over, Kelly reluctantly agrees to go to Florida for the taping.

Worse yet, her agent has arranged for her to be tutored in a seductive rendition of the tango by a retired Miami cop, Doug O’Casey. Predictably, there is both passion and tension between these two; however, as Doug and Kelly grow closer as they work on the dance routine, inexplicable threats to Kelly's well-being mount. Not only is Kelly in danger of being killed, but across the country “real” therapy advice columnists have been murdered. It is up to O’Casey to unravel the web which has ensnared Kelly, before it is too late.

Heather Graham's plot twists and turns of Killing Kelly, as well as the soap opera/advice column industry focus, add suspense to this formula-driven romance/mystery story of a beautiful woman in jeopardy.