The Actress

The Actress

4.6 3
by Elizabeth Sims
     
 

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Aspiring actress and single mother Rita Farmer has gone from struggling to find work to downright desperate. If she doesn't land a paying job soon-horror movie, soap commercial, anything-she's afraid her ex-husband will use her dire financial straits to take away Petey, her cherished four-year-old son. While she's charming the crowd at storytime at the L.A. public… See more details below

Overview

Aspiring actress and single mother Rita Farmer has gone from struggling to find work to downright desperate. If she doesn't land a paying job soon-horror movie, soap commercial, anything-she's afraid her ex-husband will use her dire financial straits to take away Petey, her cherished four-year-old son. While she's charming the crowd at storytime at the L.A. public library, a celebrity defense attorney approaches her with an unusual job offer: So long as she's discreet, Rita can rake in a thousand dollars a day preparing his client for her appearance in court.

Easy money? Hardly. His client, Eileen Tenaway, is not only a wealthy heiress and a queen of the tabloids but she's been charged with the murder of her own child. The attorney needs Rita to coach Eileen secretly to help her seem more sympathetic, more human. He needs the jury to believe not only her words but the subtle cues of body language, facial expressions, even vocal style.

Rita knows she can do it, but what she doesn't know is how determined she'll become to find out what really happened to Eileen's family-once her own life and Petey's life depend on it. The Actress, Elizabeth Sims's engrossing series debuting a spirited sleuth, delivers a fresh, behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood's high society at its lowest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Fans of Sims's Lambda Award-winning Lillian Byrd series (Easy Street, etc.) will recognize the bright, sassy tone of this first entry in a new series. When flashy L.A. attorney Gary Kwan offers aspiring actress Rita Farmer $1,000 a day to teach Eileen Tenaway, an unsympathetic defendant accused of murdering her baby, to appear more likable on the stand, Rita can't refuse. Flat broke, Rita fears losing custody of her son to her foul-mouthed ex. As trial prep progresses, Eileen's presumed-dead husband and her missing sister resurface, the husband's business partner disappears, money and gems are stolen, Gary is murdered and Rita's son is kidnapped. Sims writes well (her wry commentary on life in Hollywood is dead-on), but the relentlessly perky tone is at odds with the increasingly dark events. In addition, Rita's inexplicable actions in the face of danger diminish reader sympathy. In the end, the kitchen-sink plot is more wearying than dramatic. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
A penniless actress hired to coach a woman on trial for killing her child finds even more mystery behind the case. Desperate for money to support herself and her son Petey, unemployed actress Rita Farmer takes celebrity lawyer Gary Kwan up on his offer of $1,000 per day to pose as a paralegal while working to soften his client Eileen Tenaway's image. Caught up in the case, Rita works long hours while her friend Daniel shuttles Petey between day-care centers and her abusive ex-husband schemes to sue for custody of Petey. Rita's curiosity gets the better of her when she's approached by George Rowe, an investigator for the insurance company that paid out a huge sum to Eileen and her husband's business partner when he was found dead in Brazil. Thereafter, Rita works to improve Eileen's chances with the jury while trying to find out whether Eileen's husband is really dead and what happened to a load of jewels and cash missing from the business. Having fallen a bit in love with the married Gary before he admitted to being gay, Rita's devastated to find him dead in a pool of blood. When she has to outwit a group of amoral people to save her child, she discovers that she's tougher than she thought. In her first departure from her Lillian Byrd series (Easy Street, 2005, etc.), Sims crafts a page-turner from stem to stern. Agent: Cameron McClure/Donald Maass Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780692287071
Publisher:
Spruce Park Press
Publication date:
11/30/2014
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)

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