Overexposure in the Frame
It is a droll fact that Hugo Rifkind actually wrote Overexposure while still a features writer, and well before becoming The Times gossip columnist. But even if the novel isn’t the deep-throat tell-all of an insider, it is a very entertaining lampoon of the egotists, hedonists and hopefuls of the Be Seen To Be Seen scene, with colour provided by real celebrities such as Graham Norton and Big Brother winners.
Overexposure opens with the Gazette‘s Diamond Awards. Two glittering examples bedeck the bosoms of a starlet, who is soon extremely startled to discover, in the glare of global publicity, that her boobs are bereft. As Graham Norton trills, ‘Mr And Mrs Nipple have come out to play,’ it begins to dawn that a master thief is at work. He has apparently achieved the impossible, enough to win him the all-time Stickyfingers Award.
A series of impertinent heists follow and a deal of ultra-expensive jewellery disappears. Suspicion falls upon our hero, who is very much up to speed with fashion, mainly fashions of getting off his face, and has to relocate his wits before trouncing the knave. Overexposure is tense and funny, its set pieces a homage W.E. Hornung, creator of Raffles, an ingenious card if ever there was one and the eminence grise of Rifkind’s imagination, for this one at least.
© Jennie Renton