By: Marc Kage
Publication Date: October 25, 2022
Reviewed by: Tripti Kandari
In Marc Kage’s Bespoke Betrayals and Sartorial Secrets, a tense composition intertwines a web of human relationships, wherein the threads of deception violate trust, resulting in a broken mosaic of what were once-magnificent bonds.
Jabir, a talented but struggling photographer from Boston, is drawn to Melford, a town increasingly turning into a bustling tourist city with a plethora of opportunities for a promising future. However, his aspirations are destroyed when this new place knocks him down, leaving him at an impasse. Most people prefer other photographers with charming social media auras, leaving Jabir’s career path stale. Meanwhile, his wife, Michelle, a publicist by profession, harbors her own dirty secrets that gnaw at her conscience.
Amid all his worries, Jabir embarks on a chance excursion into Melford's "old town," a quaint community that once teemed with life and bustling activity but has now slipped into oblivion as a forgotten corner of Melford. Once a flourishing town, it now bears the scars of a tumultuous past marked with industrial unrest and deep distrust. Little does Jabir know that a blessing is on its way to his door.
Jabir's long-time friend and fashion designer, Aaron, reaches Melford with the thrilling prospect of organizing a fashion runway event. Aurelio, a writer and widower with two daughters, joins the fray, rounding out the formidable trio. The friends not only have the opportunity to demonstrate themselves as masters of their various professions as part of the runway event, but they also have the chance to help the residents of the "old town." Through their collaborative efforts to fulfill the runway event's requirements, the focus on the abilities of the old town's residents may become a spark for breathing new life into their forgotten community. Fate seems to be intervening to help everyone, but amidst the excitement, doubts still linger. Could this apparent stroke of good luck be too good to be true? Could it be the beginning of a perilous adventure, with the road ahead steeped in mystery and distrust?
Meanwhile, Michelle’s involvement in covert dealings from her prior business complicates matters amid the trio’s promising venture. Unbeknownst to the others, she has been driven into a precarious situation as a result of severe economic problems and personal troubles. To have a prosperous future with Jabir, she must decide whether to hurt Aaron’s reputation while she's working as a publicist for another designer. The weight of her deeds weighs heavily on her heart, knowing that the consequences may leave permanent scars on the lives of everyone involved.
Bespoke Betrayals and Sartorial Secrets begins with a character-driven plot, with individuals battling with emotions and the intricacies of life. However, the story soon takes on the traits of an enthralling suspense thriller. Kage’s remarkable character development brings depth to his characters, creating multi-dimensional people that the reader will want to learn more about. However, Jabir’s portrayal stands out as he becomes the epitome of a social-media cynic, unapologetically questioning the façade of perfection portrayed on social-media platforms. Jabir’s monologues depict the challenges of a struggling artist, the intricacies of capturing moments on camera, and his disdain for bogus artists. This gives readers insight into his psyche, helping them to build a greater bond with his character. There is also a major emphasis on the consequences of dishonesty and broken trust. The characters struggle with the consequences of their deceptions throughout the novel, leading to a murky path that undermines the entire foundation of their connections.
Quill says: Bespoke Betrayals and Sartorial Secrets delivers a slow-burn narrative of unyielding stains of falsehoods and human subtleties, immersed in suspense and a whirlwind journey of twists and excitement.