Cover Story: A Novel

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Susan Rigetti’s latest novel Cover Story has an intriguing premise. Lora Ricci has an internship at ELLE magazine which she hopes will turn into a career as an editor. She meets charismatic Cat Wolff, who seems to want to help Lora, but Cat is up to something that has the FBI looking into here. And there’s a writer named Daphne Rooney who keeps getting mentioned too, for reasons that make no sense until the last chapter of the novel. It’s a lot.

The book is comprised of Lora’s diary entries, newspaper stories, social media posts, and email and text correspondence by other characters. This could be a clever construction if it wasn’t all so convoluted. Rigetti has written three different books: Lora’s work with Cat, Cat’s criminal activity, and Lora’s naïveté about the whole situation. And boy did I want this to be good.

I kept wondering when Lora would realize what was happening—remember, again, that everything in her point of view comes from her diary entries which are far too juvenile for a twenty-year-old woman. But that realization never came. There’s a twist at the end that wraps the whole thing up, but it feels very “gotcha” and not at all satisfying.

Because of the construction, the novel never feels settled. It is frenetic and childish and over the top and vapid—but the possibility of it going well is there on every page. I kept reading because I wanted to know how it ended—that level of intrigue is strong. I just disliked the resolution to a story that never seemed to know where it was going.

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Author Susan Rigetti
Star Count 2/5
Format Trade
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publish Date 25-Apr-2023
ISBN 9780063072060 Buy this Book
Issue August 2023
Category Popular Fiction