The Publicist, by Christina George, tells the story of Kate Mitchell, a rising Manhattan public relations person.
The story opens with one of her authors threatening suicide, which is all in a day’s work for Kate, dealing with the artistic egos of her authors and the ambitious colleagues at her publishing house. Kate knows she has to pay her dues as the publicist on second-rate titles for difficult authors before she can move up. But some of her difficulties seem almost as if someone in the office is sabotaging her work, and her dear friend Allan Lavigne, a former bestselling author, is so disillusioned with the whole publishing world that he’s been dawdling on his contracted second book for decades. There’s a great meta-chuckle in reading a self-pubbed title from an author clearly so connected to traditional publishing.
The book is set in Manhattan, with a lovely blend of real-life details and the glowing Manhattan of fiction. Characters leap into waiting cabs and get seats in trendy bars, work is fast-paced and celebrity studded, and Kate takes thoughtful, unhurried walks to catch different neighborhoods at the best times of day, in the best weather.
MacDermott Ellis, the publishing start and married love interest, is a bit too broadly written as an Harlequin alpha male—a handsome jerk who takes Kate’s cellphone when he determines she needs a mental break, shows up uninvited when he determines she should see him, and stays married to his wife. Fortunately Kate’s dear friend Allen feels the same way, and another possible suitor arrives when Californian Nick comes to New York to visit his uncle. Unfortunately, there’s no resolution on the romantic storylines, or any of the storylines, as the book ends abruptly. Hopefully Part 2 will have some resolution, but The Publicist is still well worth reading for publishing world characters and Manhattan moments.
Reviewed by Meg Stivison for IndieReader