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A supermodel at age six, a has-been before she’s 20.

Scarlett Ulrich was the most beautiful little girl in the world. As a teenager, she’s pretty but no longer special. Her father, much-married mega-mogul Rufus Ulrich, who manages her career, sends her off to model in Tokyo, where decidedly non-A-list girls find work, and Scarlett disappears. Desperate, Rufus calls Lou, Scarlett’s half-sister, to see if she knows anything. Lou, who loathes Rufus, hasn’t heard from Scarlett for years, but asks her best friend, investigative reporter Annie Anderson, now a fashion editor at Handbag magazine, to find out what happened to her. Annie makes room amid the fashion weeks in New York, London and Milan for a quick trip to Tokyo despite the resulting upheaval with her boyfriend Chris. In Tokyo, Scarlett’s trail has grown cold, although Rufus has a private eye looking. The police think she’s become the fifth victim of the Roppongi Ripper, who preys on the tall, blonde Western girls who often work as hostesses, titillating Japanese businessmen. Trading leads with a Tokyo Herald crime reporter, Annie eventually discovers the secret of Scarlett’s unhappy life while coming to terms with her own emotional disarray.

Like Fashion Victim (2005), an insider’s look at how the fashion world works, with trenchant observations on what becomes of daddy’s little girls when they develop minds of their own. Even better is the author’s guide to Tokyo.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-345-47590-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2008