The Love Killers Characters
Regular fans of Collins will find the familiar female character types in The Love Kilters: the five B's — the brain, the bitch, the baby, the bombshell, and the bimbo. Cass Long, "a short, untidy-looking woman, with cropped brown hair and a cheerful disposition," is the brain in that she has little sex appeal and serves as the secretary and assistant to Margaret and the "avengers." Rio Java is the bitch: "over six feet tall . . . starvation thin, with a long dramatic face, shaved eyebrows, and exotic makeup . . . part Cherokee Indian and part Louisiana hillbilly [who] lived her life exactly as she pleased," The baby is the ingenue Beth Brown, "twenty, . . . clear-skinned and fair haired, with hair that hung straight and thick, reaching below her waist. She was a very pretty girl. Her face had a childlike innocence, with large blue eyes and a wide, soft mouth." Lara Crichton, the Collins love-goddess-type, is the bombshell: "a perfectly beautiful woman of twenty-six. Slim, suntanned, with rounded sensual breasts, a mane of sun-streaked hair, and wide, crystal-clear green eyes." The bimbo, who wears tight, very low-cut dresses, and caters to Enzio's every whim in the expectation that it will pay off in some kind of financial security when he eventually dumps her, is Mary Ann August.
The male characters include the familiar heartless, powerful tyrant, Enzio Bassolino, whose only apparent weakness is his three sons. The sons are all handsome and intelligent, and although Frank, the oldest, is becoming as ruthless as the father, the other two have some redeeming qualities that make them almost — but not quite — irresistible to the two women who are out to destroy them.
Dukey Williams and Rose Bassolino, Enzio's crazed wife, are the "loose cannons" Collins always has in her novels — the unknown quantity with an unpredictable but profound impact on the outcome of the other characters' plans.