Tag Archives: Publishers Weekly

Bias Cut review

From Publishers Weekly, an independent organization (review based upon an unpublished manuscript version as a part of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award)

“In this fresh and dark mystery, rising fashion designer Laurie Sparks hires down-to-earth, down on her luck Nicola to research 1980s style and culture. Sparks, an elfish beauty and reality TV personality — think younger, edgier, and flakier Tim Gunn — wonders what next year’s fashion would look like if an apocalypse had stopped design from moving forward back when “Road Warrior” and “Night of the Comet” flickered through America’s imagination. Enter Jonathan, Sparks’s former assistant, who asserts: “I don’t think it occurs to Laurie that there are people…who…don’t want the very best for him.” Sparks’s carefree and careless nature provides the novel a vague sense of dread that is exacerbated by Nicola’s increasing compulsion to protect him, from himself as well as from others. Despite constant warning, Sparks goads Nicola into an ever-deepening pursuit to prove that a world-renowned fashion designer is a hack and possibly a murderer. Snappy dialogue and accomplished descriptions are effortlessly woven into the catty and surprisingly nebulous world of Fashion Week and Emmy Award after-parties. While it addresses a wide range of topics — from the folly of curiosity to the power of innuendo — this novel is also about the fleeting successes that have passed by Generation X and landed on Generation Y, and the anxieties and imbalances such a world view produces. Well done.