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When Saskia Thomson is found dead, her war-reporter brother fights to save the magazine she created. But the predators are closing in . . .
Saskia Thomson is the most glamorous, successful, talked-about magazine editor in the world. Her creation, STREETSMART, is on a roll, building a circulation that exceeds even VANITY FAIR or VOGUE, with its combination of celebrity gossip, glossy fashion and serious investigative journalism. Then Saskia is found dead. Her brother Max is left holding the babies - STREETSMART and Saskia's nine-year-old hyperactive son Cody.
As a war photographer, neither of these duties are ones he feels particularly qualified to fulfil. But before long Max finds himself fighting to save the magazine. The predators are closing in - and Max soon discovers that Guerrilla warfare in Eritrea is nothing compared to this ...
At once an international whodunit and a glimpse into the glitzy high-end fashion magazine industry, this glossy novel by Cond Nast U.K. executive Coleridge (With Friends Like These) offers murder, sex, advertising conspiracies and one six-page chapter devoted almost entirely to cologne. After attending a star-studded Park Avenue soir e, Saskia Thompson, "the most famous magazine editor in the world," is found dead in her Manhattan apartment. Saskia was not only StreetSmart's editor, but also its founder and president, and both the New York and London offices of the magazine are paralyzed by the news of her murder. In blunders Saskia's distant older brother Max, a rough-hewn photojournalist just back from Afghanistan, who is apparently named in Saskia's will as custodian of the magazine until her illegitimate young son, Cody, is old enough to take control. Meanwhile, three sharks are circling for ownership of StreetSmart: tienne Bercuse, head of a luxury-goods business conglomerate; predatory Caryl Fargo, head of StreetSmart's main competitor, Town Talk; and Freddie Saidi, a shady Lebanese financier reputed to be an arms dealer. Desperate to find his sister's killer and keep her magazine alive, Max--with a little help from Saskia's lawyer, a sexpot junior staffer and some beer-swilling photographer comrades--provides content for the magazine, squares off with his competitors and investigates Saskia's death. Readers will enjoy Coleridge's depiction of magazine workplaces, as well as the white-collar ferocity of Max's foes. But there is a certain amount of condescension inherent in the author's descriptions of the well-meaning but bumbling Max and his brave but obviously lower-class combat colleagues. Still, for all of StreetSmart's satire of the fashion world, it is the novel's soap opera-ish glamour that will keep readers turning the pages to the bravado finale.