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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jealousy and betrayal
Deborah Moggach's books nearly always have a strong female protagonist at their centre, and this one is no exception. Jules is working in local community theatre, playing a fairy in a children's play touching on environmental themes when, just as she is about to go on stage her audience disappears. The children, together with the whole locality, have gone to a street...
Published on 10 Sept. 2009 by Eileen Shaw

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed
I did not feel that the story was as good as previous novels and to my mind was imaginative but disjointed.
Published 12 months ago by d hedley-goddard


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jealousy and betrayal, 10 Sept. 2009
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Stand-In (Paperback)
Deborah Moggach's books nearly always have a strong female protagonist at their centre, and this one is no exception. Jules is working in local community theatre, playing a fairy in a children's play touching on environmental themes when, just as she is about to go on stage her audience disappears. The children, together with the whole locality, have gone to a street nearby, where fabulous Hollywood star Lila Dune is filming a scene. Jules is recognised by another actor - she is a stalwart of minor productions and walk-on TV, and when the stand-in for Lila Dune is taken ill Jules is asked to step in.

Part of her is insulted - she's an actor, after-all and stand-ins are more part of the crew than the cast, but the chance to get closer to the magical film world and maybe even come to the notice of Lila Dune, proves too much to resist.

Her decision to say yes is just the beginning for Jules as she and her boyfriend, the unreliable but sensually exciting Trev, are caught up in a whole new world of filming - in New York and Los Angeles. Friendships, new relationships, jealousy and betrayal ensue. It is a fabulous roller-coaster ride for Jules, and for the readers of this fascinating and compelling book, especially as the plot-line turns darker and even more compelling.

Moggach's writing style is easy, modern, direct and the dialogue and thoughts of her protagonists are often savagely funny. She allows the characters a judicious amount of detail and background to give them their own developmental reality. This is a stunningly good book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A suspense filled book about jealousy., 7 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stand-in (Paperback)
Having read and enjoyed some of Deborah Moggach's books before, this was a surprise. The Stand In is I would say, her finest book yet. It's an enthralling story which pulls the reader in, and although you know she's wrong, you can't help but find yourself sympathysing with the main character. The book is essentially about jealousy, something we can all relate to! The final page is fantastic, it ties the story up perfectly and leaves you feeling like you've had your moneys worth!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and outstanding, 22 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Paperback)
I adore Deborah Moggach and this is one of her best, up there with 'Final Demand'. How do I review this without just saying 'I couldn't put it down' and 'highly recommended', but without giving the game away?

Julia Sampson is a fascinating character. Annoyingly, I couldn't quite picture her. That didn't matter; this was perhaps because she was so complex. I didn't start to realise the true depths of her complexity until quite a way into the book! Her favourite person/rival, film star Lila Dune, is annoying yet appealing in her dumb blondeness (she's actually much sharper than people realise, I reckon), and Julia's boyfriend, Trev, is not just a ghastly slippery fish - I kinda liked him, as it went on.

The plot is brilliant, unusual - the characters become more interesting all the way through.

One of those books that actually goes a bit past the 5 star limit!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my best ever reads, 17 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stand-in (Paperback)
I read this book in a day. I couldn't put it down. I found myself totally absorbed. The plot is as tense as the dentist's waiting room. I devoured every word and went on to read all of her other books. To me, this and "Stolen" stand as her best works. What an exceptionally talented writer!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, 16 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
I did not feel that the story was as good as previous novels and to my mind was imaginative but disjointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner., 28 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
A great read. Quite dark. First class thriller. Always enjoy Deborah Moggach. She knows how to reel the reader in.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The tand-in, 20 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
I personally found this book tedious. Normally, cannot put a book down, but this one sent me to sleep. No doubt some people will enjoy it, but it was not for me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not 'literary fiction', 17 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
I had never read Deborah Moggach, and this was listed under literary fiction on Amazon, so thought I would try it, as I like good writing and a strong female narrator. I'm sorry to say that it seems to me a manipulative, laboured yarn, about characters I didn't really like, and left me feeling 'so what?' and grubby.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A twisted tale, 2 April 2013
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
This book is a slow-building psychological thriller, which becomes more and more chilling as the narrator's mind begins to fragment.

The story arc is convincing and the characters surprisingly sympathetic, and even the increasingly deranged Jules has many moments of dry and sardonic humour. Moggach's description of New York as seen through Jules' paranoid eyes is truly powerful and engaging writing.

So much for the story itself. The reading experience was marred, however, by the incredibly high number of typos in this book. Doesn't anyone proof-read ebooks?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written, 6 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Stand-In (Kindle Edition)
... just as you'd expect from Deborah Moggach. It was hard to relate to the main character - which of course is only to be expected, given that she is a pretty unsympathetic character - albeit an extremely convincing one, so no doubt this was intentional. Despite the fact that the ending can be guessed from the beginning, the hows and the whys and little incidentals are what keep you turning the pages, with one or two surprises along the way. Having said all that, and despite the extremely convincing characterisation, I didn't find this book particularly un-put-downable - possibly because I felt there was little to lighten the mood. But of course, that would be quite out of keeping with such a totally self-absorbed protagonist.
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The Stand-In by Deborah Moggach
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