cover image Shameless


Judy Collins. Atria Books, $23 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-671-89233-3

Singer, songwriter, political activist, UNICEF spokeswoman and actress Collins makes her debut as a novelist with this lackluster thriller set in the glamorous world of rock and roll. Narrator Catherine Saint has come a long way from her family farm in Kansas. A groupie turned freelance writer turned photographer, she is now a successful photojournalist with a fat bank account, a passionate lover and numerous famous friends and high-placed acquaintances. Soon after she hires an assistant to organize her schedule and pay her bills, however, Catherine finds herself knee-deep in trouble. She learns that her lover is having an affair, that her favorite band is having problems with drugs, that her former psychiatrist (who once raped her) is back on the scene--and that someone may want to kill her. With all her friends as suspects, Catherine struggles to keep herself together--and breathing--as she tries to achieve solid ground. Collins delivers some of what readers will expect (e.g., an inside look at the music industry), but much of the rest, including an engrossing plot, lies hidden deep within the jumbled ramblings of Catherine's dreams and of her obsessions with sex, drugs and rock and roll. Author tour. (Aug.)