So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Length: Full Length (317 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia
True-crime journalist and sassy amateur sleuth Bailey Weggins has scarcely begun her hard-earned weekend getaway when something comes up: a dead body, belonging to one of the world’s most glamorous supermodels. Now Bailey’s trapped at an upstate New York home amidst the glitterati—and any one of them could be a murderer. She’s determined to find out who’s responsible, but her investigation could provoke the killer into striking again…
Smack dab in the middle of the frenzied tabloid and modeling industries that work to influence the thoughts and actions of people, Bailey Weggins falls into a quagmire of trouble without even trying.
Bailey, the crime reporter for the tabloid Buzz, just goes to have a fun weekend at a country house party, since she's feeling neglected by her significant other. When the honoree of the party ends up dead, Bailey’s inquisitiveness is not welcomed.
This is not the usual “who done it” mystery. Nobody even wants to believe it was “done”. They want to believe it was just a natural death. But Bailey, with her instincts and experience, doesn’t buy the idea of death due to an eating disorder and thereby ruffles feathers in high places.
So Pretty It Hurts, a first-person point of view story, is full of characters with lots of baggage—a lot of which is ”dirty-laundry” none of them want aired in public. My goodness, what an assortment of eccentricities as well as drug, alcohol, and sex use! All the characters seem matter-of-fact about all the excesses as if the whole world acts this way. Consequently, the reader needs to be super alert to pick up the clues, foreshadowing, subtle actions, and slips of the tongue to keep up with Bailey as she tracks down the culprit.
From the snowed-in countryside to the bustling streets of New York City and even to an out-of-the-way place in Pennsylvania, the reader sees the frenetic lives of a super model, a heavy-metal musician, a talent manager and his wife, a model booker, music producer, and writers who target celebrities as subjects.
Bailey’s personnel life is nearly as messed up as her professional life. Bailey and Beau Regan, who makes documentaries, have a relationship that lacks trust. Just which one of them is the most elusive and has the worst commitment phobia is questionable. As Bailey and Beau get together amid all the turmoil, they have issues, but sexual compatibility is not one of them.. however, getting past old, unhappy experiences and learning to trust are obstacles that must be addressed as they strive for a happy-ever-after.
Kate White’s incredible ability to keep the reader totally in the moment of the action, the suspense, and the mystery makes So Pretty It Hurtsengrossing. Her ability to weave in all the little details, tie up loose ends, describe heart-stopping action like being abducted by a gypsy cab or being trapped in a burning barn keeps the reader’s mind racing and adrenaline pumping. Her characters, flawed, needy, and so humanlike, make the story so believable and give the reader a look at a unique segment of society that intrigues. Excellent entertainment!