Welcome to the filthy rich, oversexed world of Judith Krantz, where women fall in love with guys who call them ”poor sweet dumbbell” and men are rarely more than lumps of throbbing flesh. Dazzle delivers the customary Krantz titillations: compulsive sex, wasteful spending, and chronically successful jet-setters. But unlike her previous works, this one has a social imperative, and the surprise here is that social justice of a Krantzian sort wins out.

Jazz Kilkullen, a 29-year-old photographer, fights to prevent her dead father’s Southern California ranch from being developed into an American version of Monte Carlo. She defeats the developers, the property is invested in a socially conscious — but profitable — enterprise, and Jazz, like most of Krantz’s heroines, is rewarded with a husband in the end. And so Krantz, queen of ’80s materialism, ushers in the ’90s — a decade in which, it appears, the rich are so rich they can afford to drop a wad on the sorts of worthy causes that will make them richer still. C

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