What My Best Friend Did

Lucy Dawson, Author
Lucy Dawson, Avon, $14.99 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-170625-7
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 08/01/2009
In Dawson's disappointing sophomore effort (after His Other Lover), Alice, a freelance photographer living in London (she's 28 but seems closer to 13), becomes swept up in the world of her party girl client, Gretchen Bartholomew, a minor celebrity, and Gretchen's brother, Bailey, a captivating hunk with all the emotional complexity of a porn star. At best, Dawson's characters are uninteresting; at worst, they're mustache-twirling clichés of pure evil. The writing is overmodified ("She smiled and waved cheerily"; "I saw a tear unmistakably") and saddled with faux insights ("I just sat there wondering whether being evasive with the truth was the same thing as lying"). The story, ostensibly about a love triangle formed after an attempted suicide, takes so many detours into unnecessary shopping scenes or dialogue that restates what we already know, that it ends up making light of the subject. This is a gossip magazine in novel form, filled with shallow clichés. (Dec.)