cover image The Last Days of the Midnight Ramblers

The Last Days of the Midnight Ramblers

Sarah Tomlinson. Flatiron, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-89048-1

Tomlinson (Good Girl, a memoir) draws on her ghostwriting career for a breezy story about a woman who gets paid to write the memoirs of aging rock stars. Mari Hawthorn has grown tired of living in the shadow of her famous subjects. Her fortunes seem to be turning, though, when she gets an opportunity to coauthor a book with former model and socialite Anke Berben, whose mystique was amplified in the 1960s when she married Mal Walker, leader of the Midnight Ramblers, a fictional rock band analogous to the Rolling Stones in their popularity and libidinous excess. Like many famous rockers, Walker “lived too hard and died too young,” but mystery has always shrouded his death by drowning in 1969. Now Berben claims she’s willing to share the true story of what happened to her husband. Recognizing that this could be the big break she’s been desperate for, Hawthorn digs in deep to coax out the truth from Berben and Walker’s bandmates. Tomlinson ably parlays her knowledge of the ghostwriting trade into an entertaining tableau of rock and roll’s grit and glamour. Classic rock fans will find much to enjoy. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Feb.)