by Chris MacDonald
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Pub Date 18 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024
Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph
TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS, HE MUST SACRIFICE EVERYTHING...
Discover 2024's most original new thriller, a story of glamour, secrets and obsession...
"This compelling psychological thriller set in the acting world is both uncompromising and unsettling, with deeply layered characters and a narrative voice that grabs you from the opening line and won’t let you go. Fascinating." Alex Michaelides, no.1 international bestselling author of The Silent Patient
At long last, Adam Sealey has an Oscar within reach. Working with his controversial former mentor, Jonathan, he's given the performance of a lifetime, and he almost believes it might be worth the cost.
Because Adam subscribes to "the method". It's the secret that the world's greatest actors swear by - digging into their darkest, most personal traumas to bring a role to life.
And Adam's greatest trauma is worse than most. Losing his mother when he was just a boy. A forced choice between the success he craved and the girl he loved. And that night back in drama school, the night of Adam's darkest secret, when everyone knows about the dead body, but nobody suspects the truth.
And then he gets a message: someone knows. And if they tell, everything Adam's worked for will come crashing down.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 73 members
What an exceptional psychological suspense this is, just an absolutely remarkable novel set in the world of movie-making and acting.
This story has two main narrative arcs that come together. One is set in the present and we follow our male protagonist (Adam) who after being in rehab, has given an incredible performance, under the guidance of Jonathon (his mentor) that is tipped to win an Oscar. In this present narrative, conflict comes in when his chances of securing an Oscar are at stakes when an anonymous person on Twitter alleges that Jonathan was involved with a disappearance and hints at a secret from Adam’s past. In the past narrative we follow a young Adam who is auditioning to get into the Conservatorie, a prestigious acting school in North London. The past narrative is told in chronological order and we see how the past and the present clashes together in the end.
This was an all consuming read exploring the darker sides of method acting and how toxic it can get. Really topical and relevant in light of recent allegations regarding Brando. I will say, however, that this wasn’t quite a typical thriller. It is more of a slow-burn that is character driven, but if the themes of the novel intrigue you, you’ll be riveted. A searing insight into the toxic side of acting and movie making.
Well I’d very happily give this book a standing ovation. A taut and emotional thriller with skilful twist it was a rollercoaster of a read and I didn’t want to get off.
Thank you to Penguin Michael Joseph and Netgalley for letting me read this.