Thursday, August 1, 2013

{Release Day Review} City of Mirrors: A Diana Poole Thriller by Melodie Johnson Howe

ISBN #: 978-1605984681
Page Count: 279
Copyright: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Pegasus

Book Summary:
(Taken from dustjacket flaps)

Running out of money, Diana Poole is forced to go back to the only work she knows: acting. Her much-loved husband and movie-star mother have died, and now Diana is forty. In Hollywood that means she might as well be dead.

Still, a few key people remember her talent, and she lands a role in a new movie. But an actress should never get her hopes up, especially when Diana discovers the young female lead's murdered body. Raised in her mother's shadow, Diana knows people in "the business" will go to dangerous lengths to protect their image. When her own life and career are threatened, Diana decides to fight back and find the killer.

But unmasking the surprising identity of the murderer isn't so easy, Diana discovers, especially as she begins to uncover what's real - and unreal - in her own life.

Mandy's Review:

A former actress is writing about a former actress. Is that groaning I hear from you? It does seem like it would be a bit autobiographical with a fictional twist, doesn't it?

Diana Poole grew up in Hollywood with an actress for a mother. She stopped acting soon after she was married so she could devote more time to her husband and their marriage. After her husband's death, she decides it is probably time to return to work. Diana winds up playing the motherly role to a 20-something, not-even-trying, wasting-everyone's-time actress. Unlike other actresses, though, the producer doesn't fire her. Instead, he asks Diana to speak to Jenny and talk her into trying harder.

When Diana shows up to Jenny's place to run lines, she discovers Jenny's murdered body. And there starts the shit-storm.

In very short order, Diana is thrust into a murder investigation while people want her dead and her best friend, whom she's had since they were sixteen, is lying to her. Who in the world can Diana believe in a town where everybody's lies and tells half-truths to cover their own ass?

As Diana begins uncovering truths, she winds up with the help of a person she thought she'd never trust. Their chemistry is very palpable, but also very realistic. Even though they're attracted to each other, it's not a fictional Tinseltown romance. They're portrayed as actual people ... and I like that. I respect that. Kudos, Melodie!

I loved Diana's attitude. She got scared, yes, but she was an actress and knew how to play her part. Some of her comebacks made me want to clap out loud and yell, "Yes!" I was proud of her. For example, in one instance she's talking to Mr. Bad Guy ...

"We kept it out of the news. Suicide is betrayal, too. First my daughter dies, now my wife. This has been the blackest period of my life."

"I wonder if Hitler felt as victimized as you do."

I literally laughed out loud when I read that. Diana is a sassy, sarcastic lady that I would love to befriend. It may just be her acting skills, but I think all acting comes from a place of reality in one's life. You have to have something to draw from, right?

City of Mirrors is a quick read. The chapters are kept short and the writing is exceptional. Just when I thought I knew what was going on the author changed the game on me. I loved that. I don't mind the book being a little predictable, but I especially love it when what I thought was going to happen didn't. Or when I think someone is a certain person, they turn out to be someone else entirely. Like I said, exceptional writing. Anybody who enjoys a good thriller should pick up a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed. I am now carrying around a Diana Poole thriller addiction.

*A hardcopy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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