Mr. Dibner's first novel, The Deep Six (1953) was a war novel. This new book is a rather shattering expose of the fashion world as revealed in a look behind the scenes of a Fifth Avenue (NYC) department store. There is immense curiosity- on the part of women -- as to what makes fashions tick. Here is a closeup of the ""hidden persuaders"" that pull the strings. The setting is a store that has a reputation gone to seed -- and that is brought to new life by a ruthless young trouble shooter, put in by the dress manufacturer whose indebtedness cannot be met. One sees the politics played inside the store,- at the executive level, the director level, the management level. It is not a pretty picture, but to anyone in the know it has a morbid fascination, and the Women's Wear clientele will be doing plenty of guessing as to possible identities. This reader's guess is that there's a little drawn from a lot of sources to provide the main figures:- Casey Landis, the boy wonder who brought the dying Aintree's to life- and almost destroyed himself as a human being in the process; lovely Ruby Stevens, fashion director, on whom some of Casey's know-how and hardness rubbed off; young Aintree, who failed to fill his father's shoes; and a good many others. Sex is unnecessarily and distastefully injected in a novel that has enough factors and human frailties to tote up a considerable score.