Author: Catherine Steadman
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Book Description: 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 is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She 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. And when a woman knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be Emily and isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all, Mia is deeply troubled.
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 as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.
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?
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: Catherine Steadman brings a new thriller about Mia Eliot, who is the new it girl in London after receiving a BAFTA nomination for her role in Jane Eyre. Mia decides to try her hand in the US and goes to Los Angeles to see if she can land her dream role.
When the book opens Mia’s long term partner George has taken off and has had a moving company take his stuff without ever talking to Mia, which leavers her very frazzled. When her agent approaches her about the possibility of some lead roles for movies in LA, Mia decides to take a chance and go.
Mia arrives in California and given a luxury car and nice apartment for her stay. At one of her earlier auditions, she meets Emily, who asks her to feed her meter so she can audition. She leaves Mia with her wallet and keys. When she returns Emily is gone, but without those items.
This leaves Mia completely unsettled, and when strange things start occurring, she cannot leave it alone. This sets up this propelling story that had me turning the pages as fast as I could.
Steadman knows how to engage readers and leave them wanting more. I was a little disappointed with the reveal, but overall, this was a solid read. I was left wanting more of this new protagonist and though unlikely, I would love to see additional books with her as part of the storyline.
Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.