24 November 2022

Review: RUN TIME, Catherine Ryan Howard

  • This edition made available as an e-book by my local library on Libby
  • Publication date 11 Aug 2022
  • Publisher Atlantic Books, Imprint Corvus
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838951660
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838951665

Synopsis (Amazon)

Movie-making can be murder.

The project
Final Draft, a psychological horror, being filmed at a house deep in a forest, miles from anywhere in the wintry wilds of West Cork.

The lead
Former soap-star Adele Rafferty has stepped in to replace the original actress at the very last minute. She can't help but hope that this opportunity will be her big break - and she knows she was lucky to get it, after what happened the last time she was on a set.

The problem
Something isn't quite right about Final Draft. When the strange goings-on in the script start to happen on set too, Adele begins to fear that the real horror lies off the page... 

My Take

Adele Rafferty has reached the point when she thinks no-one will ever ask her to work in a movie again. She has decided not to waste money on an agent, because she believes her reputation, and what happened on set when she was last under contract, will precede her.

So she is really surprised by the phone call asking how quickly she can flying from LA to Ireland to begin filming in a new movie. But the cast and management that she joins in West Cork are marked by their lack of experience, despite the fact that the producer appears to have a strong reputation.

The author has attempted a very ambitious structure for the novel, with a story within a story, with events in real time mirroring events described in the script.

For most of the time Adele feels she really has no idea what is going on, or, more importantly, who is behind the events occurring. 

I found the book a challenging read. There was almost the feeling at the end of having coming out of a dark tunnel, Like Adele herself, you can't help wondering how much of "action" is stemming from Adele's own mental fragility. And yet the various threads do make sense by the end.

Rating: 4.4

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