December 03, 2006

BOOKS: Blind Submission, Debra Ginsberg (2006)

Awkward mix of boss-from-hell/chick-lit comedy with thriller.

Angel Robinson takes a job at the Lucy Fiamma Literary Agency as one of Lucy's assistants. It quickly becomes clear that Angel knows more about literature than any of Lucy's other flunkies, and she rapidly rises to the top of the office food chain. All that means, though, is that Angel gets handed more work and Lucy becomes even more demanding.

Things really start to get weird when an anonymous author begins sending chapters of his new novel, Blind Submission; it's about a young woman working at a literary agency, and there are creepy similarities to Angel's own life. Who's writing this book? Could it be that co-worker Anna isn't as dumb as she appears? Is Craig, Lucy's accountant, upset about Angel's recent raise? Perhaps Angel's boyfriend, Malcolm, resents Angel spending so much time on work? Or maybe hunky author Damiano isn't the Italian dreamboat he appears to be?

The thriller story starts far too late in the book, and never gets scary enough to really involve us; the boss-from-hell story is overdone these days, and Ginsburg's version doesn't ring any new changes on the theme. The book is mildly entertaining, but ultimately nothing special; Ginsburg's a skilled enough writer, though, that with some more innovative plotting, she could write something terrific.

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