Reviews for The disappearing act (Book)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

An up-and-coming actress risks her career to find a missing woman, discovering the dark side of Hollywood's glamour along the way. Coming off a big film role and an unexpected breakup, British actress Mia Eliot heads to Los Angeles for pilot season and a string of big-name auditions. While she's waiting for her second reading, she starts chatting with Emily, a fellow actress who's up for the same part. When Emily is called in to audition, she's worried that her parking meter is about to expire, and Mia offers to run outside and feed the meter for her. When Mia gets back, however, Emily is gone—leaving her keys and wallet behind. Mia's desire to see the items safely returned sets off a hunt for the missing woman, taking Mia's focus away from work at a critical time in her career. Despite an engaging central mystery—what happened to Emily?—the rest of the novel doesn't hold up. Mia has a frustrating lack of complexity; all her auditions become opportunities, and she's inexplicably naïve. Supposedly an experienced actress, she reads like someone plucked from the street and dropped into Hollywood’s orbit, and her constant surprise at the excessive luxury heaped upon her is grating. Her involvement with Emily—a woman she met once, for a few minutes—makes little sense, and the reveal at the end only makes it more implausible. The novel's consideration of Hollywood's dangers isn't unusual enough to be interesting, and the consideration of the gender dynamics of power is too clichéd to be thought-provoking. The Hollywood ground covered by this book is already well trodden. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.