Friday Book Whimsy: The Disappearing Act

Hollywood entices every actor yearning to make it in the competitive world of acting. British actor Mia Eliot is no exception. The Disappearing Act, a novel by Catherine Steadman, gives reader a taste of Hollywood.

Having experienced mild success in the entertainment world of Great Britain, Mia is interested in coming to Hollywood during the period known as the Pilot Season, that time when television execs are looking for actors to participate in sitcoms and other television programs. Mia has has learned that she is on the short list for a British acting award, and is eager to demonstrate her acting chops in the place where television and movies are king.

While waiting to audition for a primo spot in a movie, Mia meets Emily, an aspiring actor waiting for the same audition. While waiting, they become acquainted, and Emily asks a simple favor of Mia. Would you please feed my meter?

Mia is happy to comply until hours, and then days, pass and she doesn’t see Emily again. At first she just wants to make sure the car is taken care of while Emily is absent. Eventually, however, she realizes that something sinister is in the air. Where is Emily?

Then, when she finally believes she has located the aspiring actor, the woman who comes to pick up her keys looks a lot like Emily, but isn’t. While Mia knows she should just let the whole thing go, she is too worried, and too intrigued, to not continue to try to find the young woman.

What she discovers is the dark and sinister side of Movie City, where everyone wants to be a star and will stop at nothing to achieve success.

I found the plot to be intriguing. While I kept thinking, Mia, let it drop, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next The plot was intricate and surprising, and the ending was satisfying.

I enjoyed this thriller very much.

Here is a link to the book.