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.

Friday Book Whimsy: Mr. Nobody

What would you do if you woke up in an unfamiliar place and couldn’t remember who you are or why you are there? It’s a frightening notion, and one that author Catherine Steadman makes us think about in her new novel, Mr. Nobody.

A man awakens on an unfamiliar English beach, and hasn’t the slightest idea who he is and is carrying no identification. His past is a complete blank. He is found by a couple of police officers, and taken to the hospital where he is treated for dehydration and shock.

As officials reach out to the public to try to learn the man’s identity, the public’s interest is piqued. He is nicknamed Mr. Nobody, and held in the hospital until more can be learned.

In the meantime, Dr. Emma Lewis receives a telephone call from a renowned psychiatrist for whom she has the greatest respect. He asks her to become the chief doctor on this man’s case. It is the break for which Emma has been waiting, too good to turn down.

But then she finds out that she will need to return to the area in which she grew up, the area that she and her family had to flee and take on new identities because of something that happened. Nevertheless, she decides to risk it.

And then Mr. Nobody sees her, and says her name. Her real name. How could this be?

What follows are many twists and turns that made the novel very entertaining. I will admit that I felt as though the author made me wait waaaaay too long to find out about Emma’s past. In fact, the novel moved a bit slowly until the very end. Still, I finished the book in a couple of sittings, and I love when endings are unpredictable as this novel’s was.

I recommend Mr. Nobody to people who enjoy thrillers.

Here is a link to the book.