cover image Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

Disha Bose. Ballantine, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-49738-8

Influencer Ciara Dunphy, the protagonist of Bose’s uneven debut, lives in an unnamed village outside Dublin, Ireland, where she appears to have it all: beauty, money, a handsome husband, and many friends. Ciara is the Pied Piper to the village women, who hang on her every word, follow every suggestion on her blog, and feel blessed even to know her. Ciara’s best friend, Mishti Guha, who grew up in Calcutta and through an arranged marriage is now unhappily living in the village with her husband and child, is the only person who knows Ciara’s secrets, or so Mishti thinks. The one local who isn’t a devoted follower of Ciara’s is her outcast neighbor, Lauren Doyle, who spies on Ciara. Lauren likewise thinks she’s the only one who knows Ciara’s secrets. Early on, Ciara falls down the stairs in her mansion and dies, and the plot proceeds to examine her relationships with various people, some of whom turn out not to have had her best interests at heart. Readers should be prepared for characters whose villainies stretch credibility. Well-crafted prose suggests Bose has enough talent to do better next time. Agent: Marianne Gunn O’Connor, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary (Ireland). (Apr.)