Deadly Beautiful

Overview

Fashion and murder collide in Deadly Beautiful, Sam Baker’s smart, hip, and thrilling new novel as newspaper reporter-turned-fashion writer Annie Anderson investigates a secret underground where many drop-dead-gorgeous models have gone to “make it”–and some have just dropped dead.

A serial killer with a thirst for young American models-slash-escorts is on the loose in Tokyo, and the local press is all over it. When supermodel Scarlett Ulrich goes missing while on assignment in ...

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Overview

Fashion and murder collide in Deadly Beautiful, Sam Baker’s smart, hip, and thrilling new novel as newspaper reporter-turned-fashion writer Annie Anderson investigates a secret underground where many drop-dead-gorgeous models have gone to “make it”–and some have just dropped dead.

A serial killer with a thirst for young American models-slash-escorts is on the loose in Tokyo, and the local press is all over it. When supermodel Scarlett Ulrich goes missing while on assignment in Japan, an international media frenzy erupts. At a tender age, Scarlett had the face that launched a million album covers, and her career exploded from there. Now, with only a few clues and no body, the authorities wonder if she’s tied to the recent rash of Jack the Ripper-style killings.

Annie Anderson swears that she’s done with investigative reporting. After all, these days she jets off to Paris, Milan, her native London, and, now, New York City for Fashion Week–as a front-row writer for Handbag Magazine. But when Annie learns that Scarlett is actually the half sister of her best friend, she’s on the next plane to the Far East to get the scoop on the missing supermodel.

In the electric metropolis of Tokyo, Annie descends into the gritty, cutthroat underbelly of the international fashion industry to uncover the truth behind Scarlett’s disappearance. But navigating this mysterious territory is riskier than she thought, and she’ll need to watch her fabulously coutured back–because someone out there is dressed to kill. And Annie just might be the next hot number to be knocked off.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise from the U.K. for Deadly Beautiful

“Sam Baker’s gripping second novel [reveals] the seedier margins of the fashion industry. . . . Baker’s own experience of the fashion and magazine industry gives depth to her mixed-up women.”
–Financial Times

“A stylish, sophisticated and bittersweet thriller, its dark tones are a timely foil to the international obsession with the self-obsessed world of celebrity.”
–NewsLetter (Northern Ireland)

“This book is a fascinating exposé of the crazy, cruel world of international fashion modeling by an author who has edited a series of glossy magazines and knows what she’s talking about.”
–Literary Review

“Lost in Translation meets Without a Trace . . . If you fancy equal measures of grit and chick lit, you’ll love this.”
–Cosmopolitan

“A smart, edgy page turner.”
–Company

Publishers Weekly

Baker, the editor-in-chief ofA Cosmopolitan(U.K.), once again explores the fashion world's dark side in her absorbing second crime novel (after Fashion Victim). When supermodel Scarlett Ulrich disappears in Toyko, where diminished fame has led her to work asA a bar hostess, Scarlett's half-sister, Luella "Lou" McCartney, turns for help to her friend Annie Anderson, fashion features editor for Handbag magazine who's on assignment in New York City. Lou and Scarlett share a father in industrialistA Rufus Ulrich, "a modelizer" (e.g., "a sad bastard who only shags models"). Complicating matters areA Annie's troubled love life, her editor's demandsA and her fear that Scarlett mayA have been murdered by the Roppongi Ripper, who's killed several Western blondes. Annie's search for Scarlett in Tokyo uncovers some surprises, testing her allegiance to her fashion features over hard news and her friendship with Lou. Along the way, Baker illuminates theA plight ofA "old" teenA modelsA working in a fickle, youth-obsessedA industry. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
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. Agent: Jonny Geller/Curtis Brown UK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345475909
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/19/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Baker has been a writer and editor for numerous British women’s magazines, including New Woman, Chat, and Take a Break. After successfully relaunching the seminal teenage magazine Just Seventeen as J-17, she became editor of the British young women’s magazine Company and then went on to be editor in chief of Cosmopolitan in the U.K. Now editor in chief of Red magazine, she is a regular broadcaster on women’s issues. She lives between Winchester, Hampshire, and London with her partner, the author Jon Courtenay Grimwood.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    good mystery

    When her career collapsed after leaving behind her teen years, former supermodel Scarlett Ulrich landed in Tokyo working at a bar. However, when Scarlett, the face that launched a million album covers, vanishes her half-sister, Luella 'Lou' McCartney becomes concerned. Knowing she needs help, Lou asks her reporter friend Annie Anderson to investigate. --------------- Anne explains she is now a fashion features editor for Handbag magazine and is no longer doing investigative journalism as she used to (see FASHION VICTIM) besides she is in New York City while Scarlett was in Tokyo. However, Anne makes a few long distance inquiries and learns of Japan¿s Roppongi Ripper, who has murdered several Western young blonde females she fears Scarlett is on the dead list. She heads to Tokyo to learn what happened to Scarlett.--------------- The investigation is superb as Anne tries to find Scarlett, but it is the look at the fashion industry¿s obsession with the young that makes the tale worth reading. The father of the half-sisters symbolizes the youth fixation as Rufus is a 'modelizer' who only wants to screw the latest superstar who is younger than his daughters. Readers will enjoy Sam Baker¿s fine exposé in which twenty is old, twenty five is the walking dead, and thirty is an ancient history corpse---------. Harriet Klausner

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