The Stand-In

Deborah Moggach, Author Little Brown and Company $19.95 (391p) ISBN 978-0-316-57751-9
The fifth novel by British author Moggach ( You Must Be Sisters ) is an exciting, deftly executed thriller with considerable psychological intrigue. Jules Sampson, 38, is an intelligent English actress who's never had a big break. Her would-be novelist boyfriend Trevor uses her for sex and her theater connections. Jules gets the thankless job of London film-shoot stand-in for American star Lila Dune. A product of the Hollywood star system, Lila is awed by Jules's superior education and acting ability, just as Jules is entranced by the aura of fame and power surrounding Lila. Following Lila to New York, Jules serves not just as stand-in but as the neurotic, insecure actress's drama coach and confidante; able to become the star in looks and manner, Jules constructs a dream life inside that glamorous image. Meanwhile Trev and Lila have begun an afair, with Trev keeping Lila ignorant of his involvement with Jules. As her career takes off, Jules's obsessive jealousy and rage drive her to act out her fantasies of revenge. In flashbacks, Jules tells her story with eerie insights and powerfully evoked emotions; passages describing the present subtly heighten suspense. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-14289-9
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