The Starlet: A Novel by Mary McNamara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked up this book expecting one thing and found something else. A very enjoyable read, characters that were equally likeable and irritating, and there was depth to the story that I had not expected at all.
The mystery aspect of the story was reactionary, none of the characters really did anything to progress the mystery plot line, but things happened that they reacted to and the mystery played itself out. The story wrapped itself up neatly in the last three chapters, a bit rushed and left open enough that I can see a sequel involving many of the main characters.
The writing style was ok. The dialogue was great and authentic feeling. There were prose-y type scene descriptions at the beginning of each chapter, which I learned to just skip over - they were not good or necessary leadins to the plot action. Occasionally scene descriptions would interrupt the flow of the action and I would have to go back a few paragraphs to pick up on the dialogue flow. I think this writer has a great writing style when she isn't "forcing" a descriptive scene. I think there is a lot to be said about minimalism and letting the reader fill in the blanks.
All said, I will be watching this author and adding her books to my TBR list.
Synopsis: It’s a not-so-well-respected rule in Hollywood that what happens on location stays on location. But when a hot young leading man winds up dead in his Rome hotel room, his costar’s life is about to go off the rails in a very public way—even by celeb standards.
At the tender age of twenty-three, Mercy Talbot has won an Oscar, battled addiction, wrecked more than her share of cars, and burned down her house. Her look-alike mother keeps her on a tight leash (and fueled with an endless supply of OxyContin and cocaine) and her producers demand a grueling schedule. By the time she stumbles across Juliette Greyson, a Hollywood insider on a much-needed vacation, Mercy is surrounded by photographers and about to emerge drunk, high, and naked from a public fountain. Whisking her away to an idyllic Tuscan ‘retreat,’ Juliette is about to discover another rule of Hollywood: wherever the starlet may go, the drama will follow.
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