Cover Image: The Disappearing Act

The Disappearing Act

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Member Reviews

When Mia leaves London for LA for pilot week, she walked in to way more than she was expecting.  Expensive cars, free giveaways, a beautiful apartment and the role of a lifetime.  When she runs into Emily at an audition, there was an instant connection.  When Emily disappears leaving Mia with her wallet and keys, Mia turns into Nancy Drew, determined to find out what happened to Emily.  Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie!  While a bit on the implausible side, this book was well written and completely unique.  A captivating and enjoyable read.
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Mia has traveled from London to LA to audition for some movie roles. Unfortunately, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of craziness not long after she arrives. A simple act of kindness turns into something completely different as she's pulled into a missing person case and begins to question everything.

Now, my opinion... Let me preface this by mentioning that I like really twisted thrillers. Dark and screwed up... This wasn't exactly that.

I really enjoyed this book, but have to admit I wasn't thrilled by the ending. What started out strong, just didn't feel twisted enough at the end. The book did a fabulous job leading up to the end, but the ending felt almost too rushed with not enough time to allow the reader to fully grasp the twists before more were added.

There were some storylines that didn't feel completed - like the posting to Instagram. It was mentioned several times but then it wasn't mentioned again. It didn't impede the book, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

The narrator of the book did an excellent job of pushing the book along and giving a sense of impending "doom" so-to-speak. I've heard her before and loved her.

I would definitely recommend this book, however, as it was enjoyable. I definitely kept listening, needing to know what was going to happen. I really grew to love Mia and I'm happy she got her happy ending in the end.

Thank you Ballantine for sending me the physical book and @PRHAudio for allowing me to listen to the audiobook. This review is my honest opinion.

(Side note: I had an alternative ending pictured during most of the book and potentially that impacted my lack of excitement in the end when it didn't actually happen... If you want my alternative ending, scroll to the end...)
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3.5 stars rounded down to 3 stars. 
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Disappearing Act. I was looking for a page-turning book after a particularly heavy read and this was definitely that. I feel like the story began and ended really strong but kind of lost me in the middle. I enjoyed reading about Mia and her visit to LA to find her next big role as an actress after a breakup, but the real meat of the story was a bit convoluted for me- I wasn’t clear on what each of the characters real role was in the disappearance of Mia’s acquaintance Emily. This confusion is what lead to the 3 star review.
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This book was intriguing and a good mystery but it was a little too slow for my liking. I like my thrillers to be heart-pounding and fast paced and this book was more of a slow burn. The mystery is discussed early on but all of the action happens near the end of the book, so I thought the beginning and middle of the book really dragged. I wish there was more action throughout.
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Tense chilling read set in Los Angeles.A look at the world of Hollywood the desperate race to succeed to get cast in a pilot a series become a star.A mystery with twists turns and a missing actress.A true page turner.#netgaley#st.Martins press.
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I was instantly drawn to this book by not only the cover but the synopsis as well! I love the Hollywood glam type books and with the addition of solving a murder, this book seemed perfect. I've read one of Steadmans' works Something in the Water before and didn't enjoy it much either. That should've been my first clue. Overall, I found this book to be dragging and the character too impossibly naive. This one just didn't do it for me.
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I’m not sure how to review this one honestly. 

I never felt connected to the story or the characters in a way that made me want to continue reading. I did finish the book because I was intrigued and wanted to see where it all went. However, I felt like it was just okay. Maybe it was just the mindset I was in while reading but I was hoping for so much more. The main character Mia just kept making terrible decisions which ultimately led to her drama. 

This seems to be a theme with this author because her last book I read, Something in The Water made me feel the same way! 

It had good parts but it lacked something. 

Who should read: If you enjoy a slow burn and mystery.
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Catherine Steadman brings a new thriller about Mia Eliot, who is the new it girl in London after receiving a BAFTA nomination for her role in Jane Eyre. Mia decides to try her hand in the US and goes to Los Angeles to see if she can land her dream role.

When the book opens Mia’s long term partner George has taken off and has had a moving company take his stuff without ever talking to Mia, which leavers her very frazzled. When her agent approaches her about the possibility of some lead roles for movies in LA, Mia decides to take a chance and go.

Mia arrives in California and given a luxury car and nice apartment for her stay. At one of her earlier auditions, she meets Emily, who asks her to feed her meter so she can audition. She leaves Mia with her wallet and keys. When she returns Emily is gone, but without those items.

This leaves Mia completely unsettled, and when strange things start occurring, she cannot leave it alone. This sets up this propelling story that had me turning the pages as fast as I could.

Steadman knows how to engage readers and leave them wanting more. I was a little disappointed with the reveal, but overall, this was a solid read. I was left wanting more of this new protagonist and though unlikely, I would love to see additional books with her as part of the storyline.

Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have mixed feelings about Catherine Steadman’s The Disappearing Act.  I was immediately drawn into the story with actress Mia Eliot’s stalker. Then there was George, her live-in boyfriend, an actor who has not had a job for eight months.  He disappears with his new girlfriend and says nothing to Mia. As a reader there is immediate sympathy for Mia and I kept waiting to see how these two plot lines would develop in the story.

Mia has had a successful streak as an actress. Her role as Jane Eyre and a successful run in a theater production of The Doll House has brought attention to her career. Her agent, Cynthia, arranges a trip to LA to be considered for many roles during pilot season. In the back of my mind, I keep wondering how the two plot lines of the stalker and George would reappear in Los Angeles. They don’t. I think they could have been left out completely.

I also felt it was unbelievable that Mia would have had a rental car immediately upon arriving in LA. I did think that the main plot of meeting Emily at an audition and Mia ending up with Emily’s wallet and charge card and everything that ensued after this was an interesting plot. For me, I thought this book needed a lot of streamlining of the plot. So for me, it would be an ok weekend read. My thanks to Random House Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.
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Don’t trust anyone. What the heck is happening? Those are the vibes of this book. Mia is the probably most reasonable person in book world. There are events in this book where Mia reasonably talks herself through it, while I’m internally saying “what?? ... Hell no! ...Run!.. NO... oh girl!” rinse and repeat. I definitely enjoyed this read more than Something In The Water. This one kept me on my toes and wanting. NO, needing to know what happens. I got to the end and thought “Oh. I don’t know if I love it, but it was definitely a ride! Solid 4stars” If you enjoy a mysterious, on your toes thriller I highly recommend this read. 

Thank you @Netgalley and Ballantine books for the opportunity to read this eBook in exchange for my honest review
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Another winner by Catherine Steadman! An actor who seemed to be living in a movie of her own! 
Mia is a British Actress who made her mark as the star of a series in her own country. Now she hopes to make it big in Hollywood where she is auditioning for several roles during pilot season hoping for another winner. At one of these auditions, she meets a fellow actress named Emily and ends up in a whirlwind of events when Emily leaves behind her wallet and Mia is determined to return it. She soon finds that this is not a simple task and there is much more to the story of the disappearing Emily. The farther that Emily goes to learn the truth and find this woman who she met only briefly, the more entangled and endangered she becomes. In. hollywood, your dreams can come true but how far are people willing to go to make that happen and who are they willing to hurt? She has invested some much time and energy that she can’t stop even when her life may be in danger. 
I was reading this in shock of the lengths that she would go. I was cringing at the danger she put herself in and the things that were happening but I really enjoyed it! Thank you Netgalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review!
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Actor Mia Elliott is known for period dramas in England and is rumored to be a BAFTA nominee.  Her agent sees this as the perfect time to promote her in Hollywood.  In L.A. she is scheduled for several auditions and at one of them she meets Emily.  As Emily’s turn to audition nears, she realizes that it is time to feed her parking meter.  Mia volunteers to help and armed with Emily’s card and wallet she runs off to take care of it.  When she returns, Emily is nowhere to be found.  Her car rental agreement provides contact information for Emily but when she shows up at Mia’s apartment two days later to claim her items it is not the same woman that Mia met at the audition.

Mia’s encounter with Emily was brief and the woman calling herself Emily bears a strong resemblance but she is sure that it is not her.  Even though she turns Emily’s possessions over to her, she is driven to discover what happened to the Emily that she met.  Soon after she begins making enquiries she notices items that have been moved or are missing from her apartment.  Someone has gotten access to her phone records and her key card is lost.  Reception also confirms that they have let Mia’s assistant into the building, but Mia has no assistant.  Mia discovers that Hollywood has a dark side that she is being dragged into.  The bright side of her visit to L.A. is meeting Nick, a well-known producer.  He offers support in her search for Emily, but as a part of the Hollywood scene can she really trust him?

Catherine Steadman’s The Disappearing Act has all of the twists, turns and excitement of a roller coaster ride.  Each time Mia makes a discovery and believes that she is on the right track, her search takes her in a new direction and leads to a nail-biting ending.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine Books for providing this book for my review.
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Mia Elliot is a British actress whose star is rising after a breakthrough performance in a television series about Jane Eyre. Blindsided with the breakup of her longtime boyfriend, and in need of a change of scenery, Mia goes to Hollywood to try to land a starring role. While at an audition, Mia helps another actress out with a favor. That favor leaves Mia wondering who the other actress really is and puts her life and career in danger. 

I enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Hollywood. Author Catherine Steadman is also an actress so she definitely knows the business. The auditions, the screen tests, the meetings with Hollywood power players, and the swag all add an air of authenticity to the story. It the mystery part of the book that is a little convoluted. Mia spends most of her time trying to track down a woman who she met for about 10 minutes. Is it mistaken identity or identity theft? Mia is like a dog with a bone and just won’t let it go even when the police tell her everything checks out. 

I don’t want to give anything away but it wasn’t hard to figure out where the climax to the story takes place- and that Mia followed along so willingly. And the ending wraps up too neatly, not only for Mia but also for the character that put Mia in danger. I guess since it’s Hollywood, there has to be a happily ever after, right? 

But none the less, this is an entertaining slow burning mystery perfect for readers who like the entertainment biz or who enjoy a good cat and mouse thriller.
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Mia is an up and coming British actress who gets dumped by her husband and decides to head to Los Angeles to audition for some roles. Soon she's caught up in the case of a missing person.

What I did enjoy about this book: Mia's narrative voice, which was the chatty chick lit kind of British voice I love. It was a lot of fun to watch Mia navigate Hollywood with her British sensibility.

What I enjoyed less: The plot was a little too convoluted for me. And despite hailing from London, Mia seemed to have zero common sense or street smarts. I would have preferred Mia in a gossipy, chatty kind of "British actress goes to Hollywood" story.  Or maybe a cozy mystery. As an amateur detective in a missing persons case, she just perplexed and irritated me.
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The first part of this puzzle that will intrigue you is the inside look at lives of actresses on the verge. Mia an actress coming off a bit of success in featured dramas in England is here to audition and snag the role of a lifetime. Auditioning she meets a kindred spirit in Emily. Emily disappears and the confusion begins. Mia is living in a place that’s monitored and provided by the powers that be. Powers which can make or break a career. As the mystery of Emily’s disappearance evolves into a maze of more questions than answers, Mia begins to question her own reality. Trying to find a reality in the place of dreams pushes Mia to a point of no return. Happy Reading
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The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman was quite the page turner. It was suspenseful and had enough twists to keep me interested until the end. I was looking forward to reading this book because the author has their own experience with Hollywood, and I was curious to see what insights the author would add to the story. It did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more by Catherine Steadman.
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This story gives us a behind the scene look at that Hollywood shimmer.  It was suspenseful and action packed and a page turner. Didn’t predict that ending.  
Many thanks to Random House Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book really engaged me right from the very start, and remained okay for the rest of the story. I think I became a little less intrigued as the story progressed, mainly because I was expecting something more thrilling and more twisty. In reality, we have a suspenseful mystery with a dark Hollywood element that does it's job well. I would recommend for people who like to read books where fame plays a large role, and those who are looking for a mystery to dig into this summer!
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Overall, I enjoyed this. It was an easy, fast-paced story. It started well and ended well. The details of the life of an actor were very interesting and kept me entertained. However, I had issues with the main character which dropped stars for me. Her reactions were simply unbelievable to me. I understand suspending disbelief to an extent, but the whole time I was thinking, "wait, is she really this dumb??" 
I would have liked to have seen more development in the main character. There were a few plot holes too. 
I think a lot of people will like this book though.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this novel.

This is my first book my Catherine Steadman. I have to say that I absolutely loved her writing style. However, reading books about acting, hollywood, auditions, etc. just wasn't of an interest to me. Mia was a well written character, but I just didnt relate to her. I would've loved this book if I had any interest in acting/hollywood scene. That, in turn, is the only reason I don't rate it any higher. It was a good thriller with some crazy twists, though it felt light it was sluggish at some points.
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