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The Disappearing Act

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this eARC. 

I was completely taken with the premise of this novel - a British actress going to Hollywood to try for stardom. Catherine Steadman does not disappoint. 

Although some aspects seem a tad far-fetched (Mia’s single-handed investigation and it’s progress), this is a delicious read for anyone who enjoys suspense and Hollywood. Will definitely recommend to my patrons!
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4! 

Mia Eliot is an up-and-coming British actress and is well-known for her role as Jane Eyre. After her long-time boyfriend ghosts her for a much younger co-star, she hopes to take her success to the next level by flying out to LA during pilot season to land the role of a lifetime. There she meets aspiring actress Emily Bryant at a casting audition and what begins as a simple favor to help out a fellow actress turns dark as Emily suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving Mia with her car keys and wallet. Mia manages to track her down in hopes of returning her wallet and keys, but things get weird pretty quickly when a different woman shows up at her door claiming to be Emily. Mia could just leave it alone and move on with her life, but she can't shake the feeling that the real Emily is in danger. 

While it's marketed as a psychological thriller, I found the story to more of a suspense/mystery. Nonetheless, it was still a fun read and I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood and it's worth mentioning that the author was a British actress herself, so it was inevitable that she would write a story about the acting world. I found it to be a page-turner and I liked Mia, although she was pretty naive and could have easily avoided putting her own life in danger as well. As I was reading I thought I had the ending figured out, it seemed obvious to me, but after all the twists and turns I was genuinely surprised the direction it had gone. The author is a fantastic writer but for this particular story I wish there was more showing than telling, but I enjoyed it. 

Special thanks to NetGalley, the author Catherine Steadman, and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for providing me with a copy of the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Disappearing Act is scheduled to be released on June 8, 2021.
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Not only is Catherine Steadman quite steadily one of the best beach thriller (That’s a genre, right? Kinda mindless, but really fun. Sunny. Features sea on the covers.) writers, she’s also quite possibly the best looking one. What kind of a superficial comment is that, you ask? Well, it’s actually pertinent, because prior to her writing career, Steadman was an actress. Still might be, actually. And yet, interestingly enough, it took her until book three to bring all that experience and firsthand behind the scenes knowledge into her writing. But here it is, a thriller that’s a perfect marriage of Steadman’s writing talents and acting career. The perfect storm of write what you know from an author who has already perfected her thriller game.
   And so Mia, the book’s protagonist, seems to have outdone her creator fame wise, she’s just done a starmaking turn as Jane Eyre and amid the talks of the Bafta nomination and in the wake of her actor boyfriend literally trading her in for a younger model, she jets off to LA, to take her mind off things and strike that proverbial iron while she’s red hot. Tinseltown is all agog for the new British it girl, there are auditions, parties and a potential hunky love interest, but Mia gets distracted by a fellow actress who does the eponymous disappearing act on her after a chance meeting at casting. Really distracted. So much so she decides to Nancy Drew this thing to the bitter end instead of leaving it well enough alone. After all, no everyone wants to (or needs to) be found. And so you get to follow Mia’s investigation amid all the tinsel of the town known for it and it’s just as fun as geographically close to the ocean to yet again make it a great beach thriller. Plus such a timely one, MeToo ready for the post Weinstein era.
    I’ve been watching a surprisingly good and addictive Search Party recently and thematically this book went perfectly with season one of that show. Plot wise it’s very much its own thing, though interestingly enough, despite being the one so obviously near and dear to the author on a personal level, it’s also her least compelling book thus far. Or maybe not least compelling, because Steadman’s writing is really compelling by nature, she writes very well (not just well for an actress, either), her books are genuinely tough to put down. It just wasn’t as exciting or as mysterious as its predecessors. It was still very good and the behind the scenes material make it all the more so, but the story itself…much like the first season of Search Party…guess I just wanted more out of plot, more mystery. It isn’t bathetic as such, it just somewhat milder on wow effects.
   Still, though, very enjoyable, very entertaining and lots of fun. LA after dark proves to be a great stage and one of the most famous signs ever makes for an especially striking finale. There are morals and lessons, but in the end it’s all about the high cost of and the irresistible siren song of fame. And irresistible is about right for the general book appeal here too. Don’t fret, as light as it may seem, this is very much the dark psychological thriller you were hoping for, the sunny skies are deceptive. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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Catherine Steadman’s latest thriller, Disappearing Act, keeps the reader guessing at every turn. As Mia struggles to understand what has happened, so does the reader; her intrigue is our intrigue; her confusion is our confusion; her fear is our fear. Steadman does not disappoint with her psychological thriller follow up to Mr. Nobody. Incorporating her flair for suspense and her first hand knowledge of the acting world, Steadman creates every young actress’s worst nightmare that keeps the reader guessing from start to finish.
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This was a really fun read! A mystery set in Hollywood, CA featuring Mia, a British actress who accidently gets involved in a missing person situation when she helps out another woman during a casting call.. Motivations are murky and Mia doesn't know who she can trust so far from home. There are lots of great twists and turns I didn't see coming. I highly recommend this title. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this digital arc.
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The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman was a intense and thrilling read. I really enjoyed this story. I found myself saying “don’t do it” quite a bit and it definitely kept me guessing until the end. A quick, intense, and satisfying mystery that I would recommend, especially if you like reading about acting, Hollywood, and the price of fame. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.
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I knew going into this book that I was going to like it since Catherine Steadmans last book was good. I was not expecting to love this book! This story kept me intrigued from the very beginning! I felt this was a good thriller and kept me guessing until the very end!
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I read this book in one sitting one night when I couldn't sleep.  I must say, it has one of the most intricately woven plots I have seen in a long time.  The pacing is tight, the characters are really interesting and there is absolutely no way to guess what actually happened until the very end.  what more could you want?  But Steadman gives us more in the lovely protagonist, Mia.  Tt was fun to spend time in a burgeoning actress's head and to learn a little more about hat strange animal we call Hollywood.
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WOW- Five stars from me!  Just when you think youre driving down the correct road, your GPS hits you with a quick left turn. This book was amazing & probably my favorite by Catherine Steadman. I would recommend this to any thriller fan. It definitely had me looking over my shoulder more then once and what suspense fan doesnt love that?! Thanks to Net Galley, Catherine Steadman, and Penguin Random House for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Woah!! 4.5 Stars!!!

Catherine Steadman does it again! Drawing you in from the first page and not letting go until you've finished the last page, out of breath, reeling!

Mia, a London based actress is dumped by her boyfriend of six years in a four word text, so she hopes a plane to LA in search of her next big role. While on a casting call, Mia connects with a really cool fellow actress named Emily, who ends up disappearing. In the vein of not spoiling any of the fun, this sounds like a shaky premise that doesn't have much traction, but I promise you......you'll be up all night devouring this book to find out what happens next!

I'm looking forward to another mind bending thriller from Ms. Steadman! Please hurry! :)

A special thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and Catherine Steadman for providing me with an ARC.
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I really enjoyed The Disappearing Act overall. It was a good mix of humor and mystery and I enjoyed the main character. I appreciated the combination of British/California culture (although it is much more a depiction of show business lifestyle within LA than it is of southern CA). It was nice that the character remained consistent to who she is, despite the change in location.
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I was lucky to get an advance copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for a feedback. This novel is gripping and fast paced  from the beginning and I couldn't put it down till I was about a third into the book. The premises of the book were a welcomed break from domestic suspense novels which are so popular now.  I'm giving the book 3 stars because of implausibility of quite a few situations the main heroine Mia Eliot has put herself through and some decisions she made. Mia, despite her heartbreak, was portrayed as someone who is cold headed and capable of picking herself up and concentrating on her career. Her reckless willingness to put herself at risk, delaying contacting the police, not seeing obvious clues that she was in danger were baffling. Overall, the story wasn't as satisfying as I hoped for.
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Imagine this...you are an up and coming actress in the UK and are working on a TV show that is taking off there. You come home to find your long term boyfriend has upped and left you without a word and worse of all left you for a young, hot actress. You are heartbroken and embarrassed. What do you do? 

For Mia Eliot it was easy, go to Hollywood for pilot season. Once there though she sees she is a small fish in this big, competitive and cut throat pond. That is until she meets Emily on an audition, although they only spoke briefly there was a bond there that Mia felt. That is why Mia didn’t hesitate to help Emily feed her meter or possibly move her car when Emily was called into her audition. Upon returning to the audition space Emily is gone though, nowhere to be found and Mia is still in possession of her keys and wallet. Who leaves without their keys and wallet? Even stranger when Mia finally gets in touch with Emily and arranges a pick up, the girl who shows up is NOT Emily even though she claims to be. What happened to Emily and will Mia risk it all to find out?

I enjoyed getting  a peek into the life of actors in Hollywood and this thriller kept the surprises coming. I fell in love with Mia and was rooting for her the whole time!
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Mia is an actress who is new to the Hollywood scene. She is off the heels of a breakup she didn't see coming so she takes the chance to come across the pond to LA. This sets up some of her mindset for this trip.

This book drew me in initially, but there emerged a very strong credibility factor which I found hard to overcome. I loved the character of Mia and the meet cute with Nick, but the center of the story is not very believable. . So, with the issues I found, it should have been a great read, but it’s still a good one.

Thanks Netgalley for this ARC.
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“The Disappearing Act” is a deliciously twisty wild ride through Hollywood where the competition for roles and fame turns deadly.  This story sucked me in from the start, with great character development and an insider’s view of the movie biz.  Once Mia meets Emily and subsequently gets more and more caught up in investigating her disappearance, the action really takes off, taking the reader down a completely unpredictable path that builds to an ending you’ll never see coming!  

My sense of dread grew exponentially as the suspense ratcheted up.  I sometimes struggled with understanding Mia’s motivations and why she would prioritize finding Emily over her own safety.  Although a few aspects of the story seemed implausible, overall I found this to be a very entertaining read!

I could absolutely see this novel being made into a movie or miniseries.  I think this story would translate extremely well to a visual format, which is a testament to Catherine Steadman’s talent as well as her unique combination of experience as both an actress and author.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, and Ballantine Books for providing me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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5 Stars
Pub date: June 8, 2021

Oh, The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman was so much fun! I loved reading about the darker, gritty side of Hollywood. 
So, the story begins with our protagonist, Mia Eliot, a successful British actress who is flown to Hollywood to audition for some roles. This is a welcome respite since her boyfriend back home ghosted her and moved on with another woman which Mia discovers via social media. (Ew!) Immediately after arriving in Tinseltown, Mia attends an audition where she meets an aspiring actress who is also from out of town. The actress is called Emily and she needs to put money in the meter before she gets ticketed and Mia offers to do it so she can gain a few minutes to prep before her audition. When Mia returns, however, Emily is nowhere to be found and Mia is stuck with the woman's rental car keys! After some sleuthing, Mia is able to contact the missing Emily and they arrange a meeting to exchange the keys. The woman who shows up, however, is not the Emily that Mia met at the casting! Why is this woman who looks similar to Emily, claiming to BE Emily? 
This is just the beginning of a wild ride! I love a good thriller when it's narrated by the protagonist and you get to hear her inner dialogue. This was so well done! I'm a new fan of Catherine Steadman and intend to read her other thrillers very soon! Recommend to anyone interested in Hollywood or thrillers in general. 
Thank you so much to Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for the opportunity to read this captivating, page-turning digital ARC!
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Well, I have no words... an early congratulations to Catherine Steadman, you’ve written a best seller here! This was such an intensely immersive story.  I could not get enough. I was captivated from the beginning & sucked in through the whole story. There are so many twists & unknowns in this story. It was incredibly readable & will keep you guessing ho until the finish sentence. This will definitely make my top fav books of 2021! 

I can’t wait to see this take off! I foresee a movie or possibly a show coming from this. I certainly hope so. This is in the vein of ‘Gone Girl’ in my opinion... I’m just truly speechless.. please read this, ASAP! Then get back to me!
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Thank you to Ballantine Books, Catherine Steadman, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this title. 

In The Disappearing Act, Mia flees to LA to escape the loss of her boyfriend, and to grow her career. Once there, she gets involved in an odd situation--a woman, Emily, leaves her keys and wallet with Mia, and when she comes to pick them up from Mia's house, she's suddenly a different woman. Worried about Emily, Mia tries to figure out what's going on. 

This book was well-written and the characterizations were excellent. The pacing was good--I enjoyed seeing Mia's life--and the premise was interesting. I did feel that Mia was a bit more naive than I thought was likely given she's a big-city girl who has already worked in at least one major role, so she'd know something about cities and the industry. But, that wasn't enough of an issue to stop me from reading the author's other books (this was my first). Definitely worth a read!
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My many thanks go out to Random House, Ballantine and Netgalley for letting me read this book early. It will be published on June 8!

Wow. Catherine Steadman, you did it again! I absolutely loved Something in the Water and when I saw this one coming out I was super pumped to get my hands on it. I buddy read this with a friend and ended up finishing it way earlier because I couldn’t help myself. I just couldn’t put it down.

This story features Mia who is an actress and that already being in Steadman’s wheelhouse made it feel even more perfect. Mia heads to LA for pilot season and encounters a new friend at an audition who leads her into a whole new mystery. I won’t say anymore because you don’t need to know anything else about this book. Don’t even worry with the synopsis. This book is amazing, and I highly recommend it!
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From a chance meeting in a casting waiting room to the discovery of a murder, Mia is not really sure if the girl who trusted her with her wallet and car keys is still alive.  Missing for four days, Emily's friend, Marla doesn't seem concerned but the unanswered texts from Emily's father just don't feel right to Mia.  In Hollywood for an audition in the movie role of a lifetime, Londoner Mia is not sure where to take the information she's learned about Emily since no one, even the police don't find her sudden disappearance anything to worry about.  As she prepares for her screen test, weird things keep happening, someone has been into her rented condo and stolen Emily's things as well as the script for the movie, her loaned car is sabotaged and there's this guy Nick who claims he met her a few years ago, before the big breakup of her six year relationship with George.  As Mia uncovers more about Emily, Marla and the "casting couch" politics of Hollywood, she places herself in great danger.  Who can she trust?  And why does it seem that someone has scripted and directed her every move since she arrived in Hollywood?  As the twists of the plot start to align both the reader and Mia come to realize that all is not as glamorous as it seems in Tinseltown.  An engaging read.
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