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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling 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). 

“Stylish, riveting, hugely atmospheric - I couldn’t put it down.” (Lucy Foley, author of The Guest List)

A woman has gone missing. But did she ever really exist?

A leading British actress hoping to make a splash in America flies to Los Angeles for the grueling gauntlet known as pilot season, a time when every network and film studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows entice a fresh batch of young hopefuls - anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it.

Instead, Mia Eliot, a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning, discovers the sinister side of Hollywood when she becomes the last person to see Emily, a newfound friend. Standing out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow aspiring stars, Emily mysteriously disappears following an audition, after asking Mia to do a simple favor. But nothing is simple. Nothing is as is seems. And nothing prepares Mia for a startling truth: In a city where dreams really do come true, nightmares can follow.

©2021 Catherine Steadman (P)2021 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Page-turning...tackles the dark side of Hollywood.” (Entertainment Weekly, The Best Thrillers)

“Ethel Barrymore described Hollywood as ‘a glaring, gaudy, nightmarish set erected in the desert’. That hasn’t changed much, as we see in this engrossing thriller.... Steadman, both an author and an actress, deftly brings her talent for characterization to her writing, combining an engaging mystery with a meaty look at the question of what is real in a land of make-believe. This glittering narrative with a totally beguiling protagonist makes for an absolutely perfect beach read.” (Booklist, starred review)

“Auditions, screen tests, cutthroat competition: Catherine Steadman is familiar with the challenges of the acting biz.... Her perspective as an actress and a writer bring realism to this novel, as she dips into Hollywood’s murky waters.... In any good noir novel, an atmospheric locale is vital, and Steadman richly evokes Los Angeles ‘in all its monstrous glory’.... Reading The Disappearing Act is much like watching a suspenseful film.” (The Washington Post)

What listeners say about The Disappearing Act

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Absolutely LOVE her books!

WOW. What can I say other than she is a fantastic writer! So worth purchasing! The narration is fantastic to listen to.., also have the hard copy! Cannot go wrong with any of her books! Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

3 people found this helpful

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So Good Until the End

This story was brilliant and engaging but lost me in the last hour. In true Catherine Steadman fashion, the main character is infuriating and all of the decisions that they’re making seem so unnecessary (in a fun way). The twists and turns were clever and shocking. The ending just didn’t make much sense to me, seemed very rushed to tie things up and left me disappointed. Still a fun read.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as good as previous work

Short, struggled to finish in spite of this, struggled to maintain my attention too. Found the protagonist to be very unrelatable, unlikable, spoiled. The twists were such stretches that they became predictable, like, think of the most unexpected thing that could happen and its exactly what happened. I quite like Something in the Water, hoping this author isn't a one hit...

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

The New Years Eve scene was unexpected and a bit triggering but I am glad I was able to finish the book.

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made me stress!!

this was goooood omg! there were parts that made my stomach hurt from stress! well written, well spoken! sucked me riiight in!!

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Excellent listen

Loved this story. I couldn't stop listening!! I highly recommend to anyone who loves psychological thrillers. I couldn't predict the ending at all.

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Excellent and suspenseful!

There are lots of twists and turns In this read. Not too difficult to listen to very straightforward I enjoyed this immensely

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Fascinating Read

Really enjoyed this book and the interesting details about becoming an actress in a LA.

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Excellent

Worth the listen. Great twists and turns, no time wasting and I enjoyed the narration

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  • Nik
  • 2021-08-08

Was great

I actually loved this book, it was the first one I didn’t use while trying to sleep. Usually I get too distracted or bored listening to books during the day, but this one was great! It definitely had me hooked by the ending.

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  • SB
  • 2021-06-09

Wish this book would disappear!

I'm officially done with this author. This is the best of her novels, but unfortunately, that is not saying much.

Like her other books, this one has a stupid female lead making terrible decisions, a ridiculous underlying premise, and one unbelievable development after another.

A British actress flys to LA for auditions, meets a stranger at an audition, ends up in possession of the stranger's car keys and wallet, and becomes obsessed with the stranger's disappearance.

She blames her obsession on the fact that her boyfriend dumped her...so of course she needs something to occupy her mind (instead of focusing on her acting career). She goes to ridiculous lengths to find out what happened.

Along the way, someone hires yet another actress to impersonate the missing stranger as part of an "immersive theater experience"...right, because that would happen.

A random, gorgeous man (who later we learn is a rich producer) approaches the main character near the stranger's abandoned car and is very interested in the disappearance....because that is not a red flag at all. After this meeting, two phone calls, and one sushi meal, the main character wonders if this producer will move to London for her!!?? Of course, he agrees because she has "rock solid strength", "a good head on her shoulders" and "they are working towards something together". Even though he knows she is lying by omission.

She briefly involves the police, but decides it is best to handle this on her own. It seems like a good idea to allow herself to be lured alone to the Hollywood sign.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Paugh
  • 2021-06-10

Does not disappoint

I would listen to Catherine Steadman read a grocery list. She has a phenomenal narration style with a cadence that is addictive.

I listened to both of her previous books twice—which is not something I typically do. Her characters are interesting and imperfect. Her story telling is easy and intense.

I waited rather impatiently for this book to release on Audible on June 8th and I finished it within about 24 hours. Worth my time. Worth your time.

With about 100 books downloaded and listened to from Audible, this is the first review I’ve written. Catherine Steadman deserves to be my inaugural rate and review!

JMPM
Michigan

25 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 2021-06-14

Reccomend

Great narration and a well paced story! 5 stars for Catherine Steadman...I could do without the loud piano keys playing over the author's voice in the beginning and end though.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Westin Wendt
  • 2021-06-29

Phenomenal

Does. Not. Disappoint! Narration is so enjoyable to listen to, and Steadman is a natural author and performer. If you’re a fan of her previous work, you’ll love this as well.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Heidi
  • 2021-06-28

Could have been great with some editing

Great premise but needed a little work on the execution. There were parts where I couldn’t stop listening and then it would stall out and I’d forget I was listening. Just as I’d think this is awful it would get really good again. The editor Moises the mark on this one. Still worth your time and a credit.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Red Poppies
  • 2021-08-12

Drop the American accent please!

I am not going to review the content (three stars is all I can do) but am I crazy or is anyone else put off by Ms. Steadman’s attempt at American accents? First, her own British voice is so lovely. Then, like an instrument out of tune. every American character sounds the same with a forced-sounding cadence. It just spoils what flow there was (and unfortunately not a lot) completely. I was so disappointed she once again tried this (as in her last but not first book). I would rather she give us all (I am an American) some credit to know who is American and who is not through the plot and not beat us over the head with accents that don’t work. Please trust your listening public with your own lovely narration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • 2021-07-18

Perfection!

The narration was gorgeous and the story was mind-gripping. It had all my attention. The main character has so much dignity and humanity. She’s easy to like. Not a bit predictable — great!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dorothy
  • 2021-07-07

Not nearly as good as Something in the Water

This book was tedious, slow moving, not exactly predictable but certainly not surprising.
The villain’s last name is Cohen, making it clear that he’s Jewish. The author could have been more discreet or at least shown some cultural sensitivity by using a less obvious surname.
She at least narrates the book well, but I highly recommend skipping.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Charity Mueggenberg
  • 2021-06-14

An intriguing story!

This book was suspenseful and kept me on my toes as I listened. A good plot as well!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Nelson
  • 2021-06-12

Does not disappoint

I love this author so much! Steadman’s narration is unmatched and her stories are amazing. I would highly recommend

4 people found this helpful