THE CRASHER by Shirley Lord


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Novelist Lord (My Sister's Keeper, 1994, etc.), an editor for both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, uses her access to fashion, journalism, and society to limn the careening ride to love and fame of a young woman with designing ambitions--in a dizzying mix of murder, old-fashioned gumption, and contemporary sleaze. Ginny Walker is not only smart--she has a business degree--but she's nifty with a needle and scissors. And so, with older cousin Alex's advice and help, she's soon living in New York trying to make it as a fashion designer. She's also tall and slim, and when modeling is suggested as a way of breaking into the fashion industry, she has pictures taken. But then, told she's just too ordinary-looking for such work, she realizes she has to come up with something else--and she does: She decides to gate-crash some of Manhattan's best parties wearing her own designs, hoping for some attention. As Ginny sews and crashes parties, a subplot details the rapacious greed of drug dealer and noted philanthropist Svank. Ginny next learns that cousin Alex, who's taken to stealing jewelry, works for Svank. Meanwhile, Ginny's designs continue to go unnoticed, though she's making clothes for top model Poppy, who's also Svank's mistress; and at a party she meets journalist Johnny Peet, the only son of famed columnist Quentin Peet. Johnny and Ginny fall in love, but love and life are complicated by Johnny's efforts to investigate a drug running set-up in Puerto Rico; a murder Ginny witnesses at a celebrity-packed party; an attempted rape of Ginny by a society luminary; and her divided loyalties to Alex. After a few more twists and turns, though, she'll finally have it all. Ginny's credibility as a spunky kid taking on the world somehow survives the frills and furbelows of a hyperactive plot and gives the story a little more heft. But not much.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1998
ISBN: 0446571059
Page count: 390pp
Publisher: Wamer