Twenty-five-year-old Julie Hayes is feeling overshadowed by her globe-trotting journalist husband and looking for some excitement and direction in life. On what amounts to a dare, she sets herself up as "Friend Julie", a storefront fortune-teller in Manhattan's seedy Theater District.
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It starts innocently enough. Julie Hayes and her husband have just returned to Manhattan from a month in Paris. Julie looks forward to spending quality time with Jeff, whose career as a journalist takes him away from home for months on end. Now if they could just find the perfect work of art to hang over their mantel. Julie's quest takes her to a trendy SoHo gallery where she meets an itinerant artist named Ralph Abel.
Julie Hayes has come up in the world. Her days as a starving actress behind her, she is married to a globe-trotting journalist, keeping up with her friends from her fortune-telling days, and celebrating a year of gainful employment at the New York Daily. But one of her colleagues is found shot dead in his office - and Julie may have been the last person to see him alive. With a reporter's nose for a scoop, Julie investigates the violent death of one of New York's most infamous - and despised - gossip columnists.
Julie Hayes is finally making it as a reporter - with a column at the New York Dailyunder her own byline - when her husband, Jeff, tells her he has fallen in love with another woman and wants a divorce. Blinded by anger and hurt, she flees their Chelsea apartment. Before the night is over, she will be lying bound and gagged on the floor of a trailer, the victim of a sexual assault by two masked men. Now a tabloid headline herself, Julie tries to help the police search for her assailants. But she is not the same woman anymore.