cover image Rumors


Catherine Mann. Delacorte Press, $18.95 (445pp) ISBN 978-0-440-50037-7

Showcasing the situation of the modern career woman in this competently written commercial novel, Mann realistically portrays both supportive feminine bonding and destructive competitiveness. Rebounding from a series of failed East-Coast romances, redheaded reporter Kate Brannigan, 35, is drawn to visit her friend Sara in LA and to pursue an assignment from the Hollywood Daily to research and professionally tattle on secretive Renata Desmond, the media heiress responsible for firing Kate years earlier. Celebrity intrigue and ancient scandal propel the plot in chapters that alternate between mysterious events in Renata's formative years and Kate's current investigation. The melodrama unfolds at a pleasant pace, in richly detailed locations populated by the requisiterequisite ??sj West Coast types: a starlet with a checkered past, a faded gossip, a new-age guru, a millionaire cowboy, a frenzied caterer, and double-trouble twins. Mann (Tinsel Town) displays a disconcerting homophobic sensibility that permeates the cardboard portrayal of a handy villain or two. Although the shocking denouement is predictable, the reader is entertained along the way. Troll Book Club main selection. (Dec.)