Spiotta’s Los Angeles isn’t the garish town of the loud and bodily proud. While there are the high-concept restaurants and the emotionally detached women paying for Talk-n-Touch Advanced Well-Being Therapy, the lampooning of these familiar images is subtle, and the satire is the smarter for it. Her tale of the friendship between two somber women is all cool tones and elegant lines. The plot stagnates toward the end, mired by the characters’ unchanging levels of alienation and self-consciousness, so the reader may emerge feeling a bit disconnected herself. Spiotta, a first-time novelist whose roots lie in the movie industry, is a gifted scene setter. She just needs to turn those stills into a richer story.