The Look: 9

Nina Blanchard, Author, Peter Barsocchini, With Dutton Books $23.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-93795-1
Models and the men who use them for profit and other base needs wallow in a mudslide of glitz, sleaze and money in a debut blatantly tailored to prurient interest. Blanchard, the modeling agent who discovered Cheryl Tiegs, among others, and Barsocchini (Ghost) deliver a facile tale about the ugly business of beautiful women. Forty-year-old Jessica Cartwright is one of the industry's top agents, best known for creating supermodel Caddie Dean, taking her from troubled teen to the cover of Time. Caddie has a sordid, painful past, and her present is not much better, given the violent and greedy husband who's determined to ride her star to compensate for his own insufficiencies. Jessica, a fair-dealing, level-headed businesswoman, tends to her charge's public image and private anguish. But her world is rocked when self-styled rival agent Garret Stowe takes the modeling world by storm and stealth, ruthlessly using the women he holds in sexual thrall. Soon, Jessica finds herself vying with Garret for Caddie and other top models in the international high-fashion capitals, and the novel gathers suspense. Blanchard appears to be settling some scores here, and perhaps readers in the know will be able to suss them out through the whiff of roman a clef that hovers over the book. This is lurid fare, stocked with plenty of sex and violence, written in prose that's as subtle as a gob of pancake makeup and peopled by characters who are easily as animated as the most lively department store manikins. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-451-18034-6
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