- File Size: 1396 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 24, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004XWC0AO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,099,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Showing 1-6 of 9 reviews
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Her only solace is her best friend and roommate Joel, a gay up-and-coming comedian paying his dues in the comic circuit. However Ellie's solace is cut short when Joel dies with a needle is in his arm. Was it suicide or an accidental overdose? Ellie realizes it was neither and becomes increasingly convinced that her best friend was murdered. Ellie's suspicion is dismissed by the police but the more she tries to uncover the truth, the more danger she finds herself in.
In the backdrop of this action, the Hollywood machine grinds on as a group of producers huddle to push a big budget project forward with Ellie getting caught up in their machinations.
There's some fine writing in these pages and scads of humour as Ellie, our Aussie fish-out-of-water is bemused at the Hollywood culture around her. She's a charming protagonist with scads of self resolve as she survives the wiles of tinseltown. She's a perfect, often hilarious, foil to the superficial skulduggery of Hollywood.
A fun read, highly recommended!
I started with more of a 4 star feeling. I liked Ellie's irreverent and down-to-earth attitude. Her view of the film industry in Hollywood was amusing and for me often hit the nail on the head.
However, as the story unfolded I was having more and more trouble buying into some of the characters' (re)actions: Ellie being questioned by a cop about Joel without being told that he is dead - although she repeatedly asked what was going on.
Ellie's reaction to Joel's death is a bit soft. She seemed to be genuinely shocked first but I would have expected more grieving for such a close friend.
Those were things I could get over but as soon as she knew who the killer was (the killer was TELLING her this!), she started acting like a ditz instead of the smart girl the reader had been introduced to:
--- POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD ---
When threatened by the killer through the locked door of her apartment, she doesn't think of calling the police or Joel's brother who had just left. No, she sneaks out the back door and of course runs right into him.
When she got out of his grasp, she doesn't run away, she keeps talking to him. She also seems to go from being annoyed to scared to snotty on a whim.
When the killer threatens to ruin her friends' careers if they continue to help her, she first argues with her friend Bernie but when his girlfriend Cathy turns on him, Ellie suddenly backs him up in his decision to kick her out.
Cathy is on her side and determined to move out as well - but she still lets Ellie leave without asking her to wait for her or where she is planning to go.
Ellie keeps talking to the killer but with all the functions of her modern phone, does she once get the idea to just record those conversations? Nooo, too easy.
Instead, she follows him in her car to an alleged drug purchase after she had overheard him arranging it over the phone - outside his house, talking loud enough for everyone to hear. And she really doesn't have a clue she might be set up?
Then, fully knowing he's after her, she parks where she's got a straight view to his driveway. If she can see him, he can see her, right...?
When she finally finds the recording of Joel being killed on his phone, she doesn't go straight to the police or to Joel's brother. She calls the killer instead to tell him she's got evidence. Does she get into gear after that call? No, she stays where she is like a sitting duck until the killer has traced her through the landline number she had called him from. Again, she manages to overcome him but even though it had been really close this time, she stays talking down on him until he gets close enough to seize her again. And finally she is surprised he has a gun - and that after he had shot at her earlier the same day.
Honestly, all that stupidity annoyed the hell out of me. How can you present a character to be the opposite of the cliché daft wannabe Hollywood actress and then let her act like the dumb bimbo she keeps talking about so condescendingly? Her foolishness completely ruined the fun I initially had with the fun, smart and pragmatic Ellie.
Adding to that, the whole sequence of Ellie's radio interview was repeated when it came on air although the exact same dialogue had been out there before when it was recorded. It gave me the impression that it was a filler together with her stupid actions to drag out the end. Not sure why though, the book would have been long enough without all that.
Even with Aussies being known to throw the f-word around left, right and center, I didn't see how it was necessary to include it 122 times. (Yes, I had my kindle count it.)
I also found the different narrative perspectives quite bewildering: I know the concept of alternate points of view but I have so far never read a book switching between first person and third person narration. I found it somehow very distracting.
Bottom line is, I regretted having wasted my time with this book. I will not read any more of this author.
Ellie and her friends are likeable and the bad guys are hate-able, but they are all real and believable people reacting to the events in sometimes surprising but credible ways. Altogether an excellent story.
This means you get the first person 'feel' of the girl realising she might be able to set up the bad guy for a fall. Then, in the next chapter, we get the third person description of the bad guy that's excited at how he has actually set her up, and how she's taken the bait. And so on.
It is worth reading the whole book to get to the fight scene three quarters of the way through. We get a first person description of the fight as the model turned actress struggles with the bad guy - catches him out with a few kicks to sensitive areas! Again, we get both sides of the chase, capture, evasion, retaliation and it keeps you guessing as it turns each corner (a maze of corners would be better analogy).
I also enjoyed the characters... and I dare say anybody who has had anything to do with show business will recognise the 'realness' of these characters - the victims, the exploiters and the rare stable person that can actually make a career out of any type of show business.
As with Mr McFadden's other books, again quite unique, and cleverly executed. I've read a few of his books now and, as ever, will reserve my judgement until I've read all his books, but I am getting ready to make that statement that you only make about great authors: "with Tony McFadden books, you just can't go wrong".