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The Disappearing Act – a British actress comes to Hollywood and sees its dark side.

Meet Mia Eliot, a British actress heading for stardom. She is receiving acclaim for playing Jane in Eyre. When her actor boyfriend leaves her for his new co-star, Mia heads to Los Angeles for pilot season, the period studios cast for new projects. Her agent lines up some promising auditions. When she arrives, she drives past the famed Hollywood sign and is told the infamous story of a young actress who, in 1932, jumped off it to her death after receiving too many rejections. This story serves as a cautionary tale of what awaits her. During one audition, she meets Emily, who is also up for the same part. Emily asks Mia to put some money in her parking meter. When she returns, Emily is gone and Mia has her wallet and car keys. After several days of trying to track her down, Emily comes to where Mia is staying to pick up her possessions. But while she looks almost the same, Mia realizes that this is not the woman she met at the audition. Mia knows something strange is taking place and while trying to land the part of a lifetime, she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Emily.


The Disappearing Act was an enjoyable book that had me anxious to find out what was going on. Author Catherine Steadman is also an award-winning actress from England so she clearly knows her way around the entertainment business. From its glamour and glitz to its dark, ugly side. This is a well-written book with lots of suspense. I did find myself thinking several times, “Mia, what are you doing?” as she was extremely naïve and made some ill-advised decisions. If you can overlook this and simply suspend disbelief, this is a very entertaining book. If poor decision-making by the main character drives you nuts, you may not feel as positive about it as I did. Any book that can keep me on the edge of my seat like this one did gets a thumbs up.


Many thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine / Random House Publishing Book, and the author for the opportunity to read this page-turner in advance of its publication.


Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Mystery / Thriller.

Publication Date: June 8, 2021.


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