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From the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody comes “an unputdownable mystery about the nightmares that abound in the pursuit of Hollywood dreams” (Caroline Kepnes, author of the You series).
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER—Entertainment Weekly • PopSugar
Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.
British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her.
All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity.
Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?
The day that London actor Mia Eliot, the narrator of this entertaining psychological thriller from Thriller Award finalist Steadman (Mr. Nobody), learns she's on the shortlist for the prestigious BAFTA award, she also discovers her live-in actor boyfriend has accepted a role in a major film and is leaving her for his nubile young costar. Mia's agent quickly arranges a trip for her to Los Angeles to "drum up some studio interest." In an audition waiting room in L.A., Mia hits it off with the woman sitting next to her, Emily Bryant. When Emily asks Mia to feed her parking meter so she doesn't miss her turn, Mia agrees. Mia returns to the room to find Emily gone. The sordid tale of murder and blackmail that follows builds to a climactic battle atop the iconic Hollywood sign. The authentic movie business details and nicely developed characters more than compensate for some confused plotting and Mia's at times breathtakingly naive behavior. This tale of Hollywood glamour, cruelty, and myth is sure to win Steadman new fans. \n