The Extra

Elizabeth Sims, Author . Minotaur $24.95 (392p) ISBN 978-0-312-37729-8

In Sims’s entertaining second Rita Farmer misadventure (after 2008’s The Actress ), Rita, a struggling single mom, is taking bit acting roles to help pay for law school. On break from a location film shoot, Rita, costumed as a police officer, manages to scare off a pair of muggers attacking a black boy, who turns out to be the grandson of Amaryllis B. Cubitt, the well-respected founder of an ambitious homeless mission in South Central Los Angeles. When a Rita–look-alike cop is gunned down soon after, Rita suspects there’s something sinister going on at the mission. Some secret from Cubitt’s past has turned the formidable woman into a puppet for a merciless drug kingpin. Disguised as street desperadoes, Rita and her ex-lover, PI George Rowe, infiltrate the mission, where their very lives depend on Rita’s acting ability. After a slow liftoff, the action builds to a satisfying conclusion. Appealing characters, amusing subplots and the steamy L.A. setting are a plus. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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