cover image Cover Story

Cover Story

Susan Rigetti. Morrow, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-307205-3

Rigetti (the memoir Whistleblower, as Susan Fowler) makes her fiction debut with a cinematic if implausible caper. Lora Ricci has pulled herself up by the bootstraps from a working-class Pennsylvania childhood through community college to NYU and a summer internship at Elle magazine. But unbeknownst to her parents and her fellow interns, Lora’s practically flunking out of college and has lost her scholarship. So when Cat, a charismatic and glamorous contributing editor, spots Lora’s writing talent and offers her a job as ghostwriter for stories sure to earn Cat “literary fame and fortune,” Lora jumps at the opportunity to escape her troubles. And she escapes them in style, moving in to Cat’s apartment at the Plaza Hotel and ordering room service daily. If the details about Cat’s life don’t quite add up (how can Cat afford the Plaza suite on a meager part-time salary?), Lora’s more than happy to look the other way—until she’s forced to realize that she’s been played. Rigetti’s propulsive narrative, which includes Instagram posts, text messages, and FBI case files, keeps the pages turning, and there’s a juicy twist. Lora’s character, however, is underdeveloped, and it’s mystifying whether she’s willfully clueless or simply naive. The overall success of this depends on whether readers are as adept at Lora at suspending disbelief. Agent: Liz Parker, Verve. (Apr.)