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The Disappearing Act

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When Mia arrives in Hollywood for pilot season, she meets another young actress at her first audition and thinks she’s made a friend. She is quickly pulled into a strange situation when that actress disappears, leaving Mia with her wallet and car keys. This is a fantastic thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat as twists and turns and mistaken identities will keep you guessing until the end.
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Catherine Steadman writes in a way that makes me feel as if I am there with the main character, living their life and experiencing the sites and smells around them.  No sooner did I start this book I was thoroughly hooked into the life of an actress on the go in Hollywood.  I smelled the air and felt the sunshine on my skin, and I felt the drama of the casting reads and the awkward, anxious people all working for the exact same part.  So when we first meet Emily, I was easily taken in by her giggles and drawn to her easy-going manner.  I think its very possible I too would have offered to pay her parking meter, even though I had just met her.  From there Emily disappears while Mia still holds her keys and wallet, and Mia knows she can't just leave it.  She has to find out where Emily went and if she is OK, and just who is the Emily that isn't Emily that shows up at her apartment?  Strange things start happening and the police say Emily is home and not missing, but Mia knows this is not the case.  With Mia's insistence to find out what really happened to Emily, the true story slowly comes light.  

For me this book had a very slow, realistic build to it, all the while showcasing the glaring hunger that can envelope Hollywood and those looking to move on to bigger, better roles and popularity.  It made me feel a little dirty, and thankful any lack of stardom.  I like how Mia dug deep into her inner Jane Eyre to find her strength and courage.  

Thank you to NetGalley and to Ballantine Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my review.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for granting my wish to receive a digital ARC of the latest book by Catherine Steadman - 4 stars!

Mia is a successful British actress, starring in period pieces, but after a bad breakup, her agent arranges for her to travel to Hollywood for pilot season - that important time of the year when studios look for stars for upcoming projects that can make or break an actor's life.  Things are going well for Mia but during one audition, she does a favor for another hopeful actress, Emily, and her life will never be the same.  When Emily disappears and Mia realizes she is the last one to see her, Mia becomes obsessed with finding her.  Soon Mia is questioning her memory and all of those around her as she searches desperately for Emily.

This was an intriguing mystery with lots of unreliable characters to question.  It is the type of book that has you screaming silently to Mia to just walk away, but what would be the fun in that?  It was also an interesting back look into Hollywood and the actors literally dying for their big break.  I never realized that one of my favorite writers, Catherine Steadman, was also a British actress, so this book is obviously a true peek into that world.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the ARC.

3/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟

The Disappearing Act is a fast-paced, entertaining mystery set in Hollywood. When Mia, a British actress fresh off her breakthrough role as Jane Eyre, sets off to L.A. to try her luck in Hollywood, she quickly finds herself struggling in the new town. Reeling from a difficult breakup and lonely in the city, Mia hits it off with Emily, a fellow actress at an audition. When Emily asks her to feed her meter so she doesn’t get a ticket while auditioning, Mia helps her out. Only when Mia goes back to return Emily’s wallet and keys, she can’t find her. Mia becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the missing actress and puts herself in danger in the process. 

I feel I enjoyed The Disappearing Act even more than Catherine Steadman’s debut novel, Something in the Water. Mia is a very naïve character with motives you at times struggle to understand. Why is Mia so invested in a girl she met for 5 minutes? The entire plot hinges on this and how much you understand her reasoning really impacts how much you enjoy the story. I loved the twists and turns, but wanted a little more from the ending. 

Overall, The Disappearing Act is an enjoyable thriller with all of the Hollywood glamour and scandal. It is definitely a book to enjoy by the pool this summer! 

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Net Galley for a digital ARC of THE DISAPPEARING ACT by Catherine Steadman..  This story is about an actress, Mia, who goes to Hollywood from London and meets another young actress for whom she does a favor.  That actress disappears, causing Mia confusion and concern.  Overall, I liked this book, although I had some difficulty getting into it.  Once I did, it had my attention and I wanted to find out what happened to Emily and why she disappeared.

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Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Something in the Water I was looking forward to The Disappearing Act.  Set in modern day Hollywood and featuring the famous Hollywood sign several times throughout the story this read definitely held my interest.  I had a little glimpse of what actresses go through to audition for movies and shows but was really hoping for more of that.  Loved Mia, a British actress auditioning for a role when she meets another woman auditioning.  She does a favor for her and has her keys and wallet when the woman seemingly disappears. The suspense kept building as the mystery became more and more puzzling.  Mia is by no means a detective and made poor choices along the way which just lent credence to her character.  All in all a satisfying read.
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The premise of “The Disappearing Act” was so intriguing and I enjoyed the background and relevance of Hollywood and the entertainment world.  That being said, an interesting mystery became outlandish with twisty subplots and characters that made the big reveal(s) a bit confusing.  My heart was racing for a good portion of the book, trying to figure out what was going to happen and became rather convoluted.  It was decent and an easy read so 3 stars ⭐️ .  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.
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Mia is a British starlet who is coming to LA for some film jobs.  While at an audition, Mia meets another woman auditioning for a part.  As the woman enters the audition, she hands Mia her wallet and keys to feed her parking meter.  But the woman never returns.  Several days later, a woman appears but isn't the same person that Mia remembers meeting before.  But how well do you really remember someone that you met for only a few minutes?  What is going on?

The first 50% of the book was very slow, and then I enjoyed the next 20% and the rest was only so-so.  The book discusses some interesting tidbits of the acting profession (and some of the perks)!  However, there was a character who didn't really seem to move the plot along, and the characters didn't really seem to have any depth to them, very one dimensional.  I also just hate it when the main characters in mysteries just assumes weird stuff is normal and glosses over it.  Some of the events didn't feel very realistic, and I really hated the portrayal of female friendships (some of the ladies being far more concerned about themselves than what happened to their friend/fellow female).  But perhaps I am on the only person left in the world that cares about others?  Additionally, this book didn't have any steam and felt very PG.

Some of the weird things in this book:  Mia drives her car around in The States.  I find this very hard to believe.  As an American who has been to London,  I would NEVER drive in London.  Why wouldn't she just take an Uber?  When Mia meets an alleged American guy, He says that he will "pop out."  Sorry but Americans don't typically say pop in and pop out.  That is totally a British saying.  There were other things that didn't make sense but I won't go into them because they would be very spoilery.  

Overall, this book bored me, and I felt it was a chore to read except for about 20% in the middle which was unexpected.  Then, it went back into slow mode. 

*Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.
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Catherine Steadman does it again, delivering the summer’s must-read thriller! Something in the Water was a great debut, but Mr. Nobody didn’t live up to the hype. The Disappearing Act not only lives up to the hype and expectations but is in my opinion the best of her three books. 

The story opens with Mia, an up-and-coming actress just on the verge of making it in her native London. Her agent sends her to LA & Hollywood for a few casting calls and auditions with studios and producers to take the next step in her career. It’s at one of these casting calls that she meets Emily, a few actress, with whom she makes a brief but memorable connection. Only Emily goes missing just after they meet and Mia becomes worried about her new friend’s mysterious disappearance. As Mia delves more into what happened to Emily, she learns more and more about Hollywood’s unsavory power and influence. Unsure of who she can trust, she must decide what she’s willing to do in order to maintain everything she’s worked so hard for and to get where she is. This kept me hooked until the very last page, not knowing when or where the next twist would come from.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book that I was already looking forward to, now a little earlier than planned!
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It’s the pilot season in Los Angeles, and actors from around the world gather there to audition, hoping to have their dreams realized, and their careers made! Mia Eliot, a star in Britain, has decided to take her career to the next level by traveling to Hollywood. At one of her auditions, she meets Emily, a kindred spirit, and does a favor for her that takes a bad turn, as Emily disappears and Mia was the last person to see her. Then a woman comes to Mia’s door claiming to be Emily, but Mia is certain that is not true. She is worried sick about Emily, and even the police won’t believe her story, so she decides to play detective to find out what happened. The rest is a thriller that takes you on a  wild ride where even Mia’s sanity is at stake.
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<b>I loved <i>Something in the Water</i> and I've been watching for new books by the author ever since. <i>Mr. Nobody</i> was just a so-so read for me, so this one has restored my confidence in Ms. Steadman. It’s well written, as are all of her novels, and it’s filled with unexpected events. I’m excited to see what she comes out with next!</b>

Mia is one of the most irritating characters I’ve read about in a long time. I disagreed with almost every decision she made... but there wouldn’t have been a book if she’d listened to me, lol!  The beginning was a bit slow, but once I got into it I was hooked! 

Mia lives in London, is newly single, and her career as an actress is taking off. She flies to LA for auditions and meets Emily, a very friendly woman who is auditioning for the same part. They have a bizarre interaction and Emily disappears, leaving Mia with her car keys and wallet. Of course, Mia doesn’t do any of the logical things with the items and the story begins! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Catherine Steadman and Ballantine Books, for the opportunity to read this free digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

<b>My Rating: </b> 4 ⭐️’s
<b>Published:</b> June 8th 2021 by Ballantine Books
<b>Pages:</b> 320
<b>Recommend:</b> Yes

@CatSteadman @randomhouse @NetGalley
#TheDisappearingAct #NetGalley #NoRulesJustThrills #InExchangeForReview #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller #BallantineBooks

More on the Author:
Twitter: @CatSteadman 
Instagram: @catsteadman
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Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for giving me an advance copy of this suspenseful novel in exchange for an honest review. It was definitely a page-turner. I tried to put it down way past my bedtime, but couldn't sleep, so I picked it back up to finish.
Mia is an up-and-coming, 30-year-0ld British actress who has just been dumped by her long-time boyfriend for a younger, more successful actress. Mia's agent sends her to L.A. for pilot season, where she goes on a series of auditions, hoping to take her career to the next level.
At a casting call, she meets Emily, another young actress, and offers to top up her parking meter while her new friend goes into the audition room. When Mia returns, Emily has disappeared, and Mia is left with her wallet and car keys. The receptionist won't accept responsibility for returning Emily's property, so when Mia can't wait any longer without being late to her next audition, she takes the items with her.
While inspecting Emily's car for clues as to her whereabouts, Mia meets Nick, a handsome young producer. He tries to be helpful, but she keeps him at arm's length, as she's not sure she can trust him.
Mia finds a rental agreement inside the car with an address and phone number, so she calls the number to let Emily know she still has her things. The next day, a woman shows up at her door to claim the items, but Mia realizes she's not the same woman she remembers. She gets a sinking feeling that something awful has happened to Emily. and reports her suspicions to the police. After a cursory investigation, the police find nothing amiss.
Nevertheless, Mia can't let it go, and she continues to snoop into Emily's life.
In the meantime, despite the state-of-the-art security in the building where she lives, Mia keeps finding things moved or missing. Some of her important emails get mysteriously deleted, and someone tampers with her loaner car.
Her sleuthing ruffles the feathers of major power players and ultimately leads to a dangerous, climactic confrontation. But the twists don't stop there!
The author's background as an actress lent authenticity to this behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood. Mia is a very likeable protagonist, although many of her choices are questionable. Even if some scenes were implausible, this was a very entertaining read, and I found the ending satisfying.
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This was a really fast paced, popcorn mystery that I found really fascinating. Hollywood intrigue mixed with a missing persons case made for a super readable story. I enjoyed what felt like the "behind the curtain" aspect of it as Mia made her way around LA auditioning and taking meetings as a young new star on the rise, as well as the main mystery plot line. This one might require setting aside some disbelief at moments as some parts are a little fantastical or coincidental, but it's very enjoyable.
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A psychological thriller leaning more towards mystery rather than suspense. Due to the lack of suspense I feel I couldn't get invested in this story as much as I would have preferred. It wasn't a page turning, keep me on the edge of my seat type of book. 

 I liked the main character, Mia, a British actress who travels to Hollywood to venture into filmmaking in the States, but I was quite bored with the overall storyline and some details were frustrating, because she was a bit too oblivious. Overall, it was an easy summer read. 

***Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me an advanced copy of this book!
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Think of La-La-Land. 

Now take one of the characters and have them disappear, resurfacing as someone who looks a lot like them—but isn’t them. Now have Emma Stone try to Nancy Drew why everyone’s trying so hard to act like the girl isn’t missing. Welcome to The Disappearing Act.

Dry-humored and aching from a breakup, rising actress Mia flees from England to the City of Angels. She both struggles to keep up with the Hollywood hustle and enjoys the LA thrill, and everything appears to be looking up—until she meets a girl at an audition who disappears. In an increasingly desperate attempt to find a girl no one else believes is missing, Mia finds herself on a twisting path through the darker side of LA.

The Disappearing Act is a refreshing thriller, with an enjoyable protagonist, strong relationships, and a plot that thickens in the most delicious way. Steadman’s Hollywood world is strikingly immersive, the details visceral and unique. From an outsider’s perspective, the LA life Steadman presents is entirely believable. It’s a slow-burn story, but sharp twists appear at every turn, with harrowing moments that will make you lock your doors and put a chair under the door handle. The character voices are vivid and unique, reminiscent of Tana French’s fantastic character depth. Many of the characters are likeable—and the protagonist’s relationships with her agent and love interest are ones you can really root for. 

The story is slow to pick-up at first—we spend a LOT of time in LA life. Some details and characters (her agent, Michael, for instance) came and went without much purpose. Some of the antagonist’s actions didn’t entirely make sense. But you have to love the way Steadman makes use of Chekhov’s gun in the acting world.

In short, Steadman dazzles in yet another all-original thriller, in the fast and furious world of acting and LA. I have yet to be disappointed by a Catherine Steadman novel, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

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How far would you go to help a complete stranger?

A book that centers around the dreams of Hollywood starlets AND also mixes suspense - SIGN. ME. UP! British star Mia flees to Hollywood for her big break. One day she meets Emily at an audition and she’s hoping they’ll become friends. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. 

So, hold on your seats friends because this is a wild ride! Even though there doesn’t seem to be very much going on in the beginning, you are SO PULLED in to the story that you just cannot stop. I was turning pages for hours on end because I just HAD to know the mystery of this Emily character. 

Mia does some pretty sketchy, dangerous and kinda dumb, things to help find this stranger she only just met a few minutes ago. It starts as a favor and slowly erupts into craziness. It’s a high price to pay to be a Hollywood star and they’re all there to win, no matter what risks they have to take. Then ending was pretty outlandish but hey, it’s Hollywood so it was good enough for me. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Then the slick ending...just when you think things are back to normal, she throws another twist at ya! Well done, Catherine! 👏🏽

This will be a great summer thriller!
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Steadman’s The Disappearing Act kicks off with an Intriguing prologue that not only evokes a wave of nostalgia for us 80s babies, but initially sets the tone for what is sure to be a hell of a story. 

Or so I thought. 

The prologue was honestly the best part of the book, and it quickly went downhill from there, never to come back up again. 

There was little to no depth to the main character (or any of the supporting characters for that matter), an unrealistic/unbelievable plot that drags on, and a lackluster look at Hollywood from the eyes of an aspiring actress. 

I considered DNFing around 30%, but stuck with it in hopes that it would get better since it was a quick read. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the gifted ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved that Catherine Steadman used her acting career to give this novel the creditably that it deserves as a Hollywood set novel. Overall, I found the book to be a fast paced read. Once I got sucked in, it was hard to put down. Though I do feel that Mia was a bit naive with situations, I feel like some can be written off from here location change. But for the most part, I felt it was a pretty believable situation. Thank you Netgalley & Ballantine for the read.
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Really enjoyed this one. It started off a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure where it was headed but man did it deliver with some twists. A fun, twisty, unputdownable book that will be sure to be a summer hit. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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THE DISAPPEARING ACT by Catherine Steadman follows British actress, Mia Eliot, as she travels to LA to snag her next big role. While there, she meets a woman who soon seems to disappear into thin air. While trying to piece together the truth, Mia uncovers the dark secrets of Hollywood and becomes a side character in a twisty thriller.

THIS BOOK. The premise was absolutely stunning and brought to life a badass female lead. The plot had me flipping pages in order to find out more, and the twists kept that momentum going. I can’t recommend this book enough! 

Publication Date: June 08, 2021

*** special thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review ***

Posted to Goodreads and The StoryGraph: 06/05/21
Posted to Instagram (Bookstagram): 06/07/21
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