Monday 26 July 2021

Review: The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

 Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. 

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

Review: Wow this was such a clever idea for a story. When I started reading this I was dropped right into this glamorous setting with some not so glamorous auditions with a protagonist who is battered and bruised emotionally, what a way to start a book. I loved the Hollywood setting, I loved the idea that there are a lot of people from out of town or out of the country in one place and I loved the idea of the mystery behind the Hollywood sign itself. Such a great premise for a book. 

Mia was a really interesting character to get to spend the book with. She is a strong woman who has been hurt and needs to build herself back up again. Everyone seems to think that her interest in Emily and the situation she finds herself in is just because she needs to get over her heartbreak and focus on something else. What we have to remember though, is that Mia is an intelligent person, she has a lot about her, she has won awards for her talents after all. I really liked getting to know Mia. She is not someone I would ever come across in real life and so it was great to get to spend time with her over the course of the book. 

The twists and turns in this book are just brilliant. By the time you get to the second act, you have no idea who is who and what is what the web is tabled so intricately and the story line woven so tight. I did find myself looking at others with suspicion and starting to question what I thought to be true in my own life whilst reading-I love when a book does that to me. I don't often listen to a thriller/mystery on audio because I often find myself missing out on details but this one was an exception. The book is narrated by the author herself and she does a great job in emphasizing the right words and phrases to make sure you know what is sure to be vital information later down the road. 

Catherine Steadman has done it again, had me on the edge of my seat and desperate to read more to find out what is going on with the famous Emily in Hollywoodland. I really loved this and highly recommend. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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