Slick (A Novel)
Scott Singer is a rising star in the world of public relations, a master at manipulating the news, especially when the news isn't good for his clients. To journalists, he's the dark prince of deception. To others, he's merely the product of an amoral corporate culture. Not that anyone's opinion matters to Scott, who shelved his ego years ago. It's the only way to stay sane in a world that thrives on cynicism and bad buzz.
The trouble begins on the first day of February sweeps, when a fifteen-year-old girl goes on a fatal shooting spree in her high school cafeteria. For the news networks, it's a ratings bonanza, especially when evidence suggests that the tragedy was inspired by a popular rap song. Suddenly America's outrage is focused on Hunta, an up-and-coming young hip-hop artist. Now he's public enemy number one, and a jaded former assistant is about to make his life worse with false allegations of sexual misconduct.
Soon Scott is hired by Hunta's record company to stop the accuser before she starts. And yet for all his nefarious accomplishments, he's never used his talents to destroy another human being before. So instead of getting nasty, Scott gets creative — a grand and epic media hoax that will dominate the news cycle and eclipse one lie with another. It'll be his greatest achievement to date, if he can stop his creation from spinning out of control and taking him with it.
Slick is an intricate, edgy, hilarious through-the-looking-glass journey into the heart of our image-driven culture. But don't take our word for it. We're trying to sell you something.
“If a book could rise up the charts on voice alone, Price's debut novel about an L.A. publicist's unscrupulous machinations would be a clear Billboard hit.” – Publishers Weekly
Media critic Price wades hip-deep in hype for this heady debut packed with scandal, crackle, and pop. When honor student Annabelle Shane guns down six classmates at her Los Angeles high school, the press is quick to point the finger at up-and-coming rapper Hunta, whose incendiary song, “Bitch Fiend,” clearly inspired the act. As the news networks sink their teeth into every bloody detail, Hunta’s handlers engage the services of Scott Singer, a piranha-style publicist known for his unrelenting ways. The veteran spin-doctor, whom Hunta has dubbed “Slick,” has his work cut out for him: the married rapper’s tendency toward inflammatory lyrics is rivaled only by his weakness for beautiful women. When Slick masterminds a headline-grabbing hoax to steer public attention from the rapper’s sexual indiscretions, his seedy strategies soon careen out of control. Price keeps the 350-plus pages turning with snappy wordplay and vivid, surprisingly complex characters. A dark meditation on the art of manipulation, this is a must read for anyone riveted — or repulsed — by the news. – Allison Block