Outside the theatre Lanny belted her coat against the cold and drew on gloves. Anna paused at the corner and watched her walk away. Lanny looked over her shoulder just once and waved a hand.
‘See you Monday,’ she called.
‘See you Monday,’ Anna called back.
And then she was gone …
In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.
When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate.
But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.
Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love.
For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own…
‘How do you find a missing actress in a world where everyone is trying to hide? Fabulous depiction of a London where the ‘Swinging Sixties’ hides a darker more complicated story of prejudice and struggle. I loved the strong women and evocative writing from an author offering more questions than clues.’
Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
‘A deftly assured debut, full of layers and characters that come alive in a few vivid sentences. I can’t wait to read more from Miranda Emmerson.’
‘[A] zippy read set in the swinging sixties.’
‘Vibrant and atmospheric, this is a tale of identity and intrigue.’
S magazine, Sunday Express
‘A fabulous period piece, expertly evoked, that looks at race, identity, isolation and acceptance, and everyone’s need to find love.’
‘The book works best as an exploration of the immigrant experience. Almost everyone Anna encounters has come to London from somewhere else…These scenes of life in the capital are well researched and well crafted.’
‘Here’s something you don’t often experience while reading a page-turning thriller: stopping to reread paragraphs because they contain truths that are “Aha”-moment levels of profound. Although it purports to be a whodunit – famous actress disappears in Swingin’ Sixties London! – it’s really a meditation on identity, prejudice and the lies we tell ourselves, narrated by a young theatre dresser who sets out to find her missing boss.’