Focus

Natalie Ray, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-312-01430-8
This first novel's look at the fashion industry is vivid and shocking; when the story veers into peripheral events, however, it turns lackluster. Toby Griffin is a young, ambitious photographer who takes a coveted assignment to shoot a sequence in Mexico for Trove, the top fashion magazine. The posh coastal resort swarms with stylists, models, fashion editors and hangers on, all deeply impressed by art director Simon Bishop's new discovery: a stunning and ingenuous 13-year-old model, Lina. Griff and others on the staff suspect that Bishop, who likes his lovers very young indeed, has seduced Lina and introduced her to cocaine. When Lina, drunk and drugged, drowns off the Mexican coast, Abby Chadwick, editor of Trove, Liz Banner, head of Lina's modeling agency, and Griff, are consumed by guilt, not only because they raised no objections to Lina's use of cocaine, but because they were all, in one way or another, exploiting the young girl for their own ends. Only Liz has the clout to give Simon Bishop what he deserves. The novel is swift and engrossing when it focuses on the fashion industry, but Griff's romantic vicissitudes are far less exciting. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-312-91647-3
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