FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer

The Brutal Illusion

By Stephen Jared


Reviewed by Angie Mangino

Rating: 4 stars


Readers meet twenty-three year old Allyson Rockwell as she dresses to go to watch the stars arrive at a premiere on Hollywood Boulevard for her last night in Los Angeles. A year ago she had come from Indiana to become an actress. Now with her money depleted she reluctantly, but practically, plans to go back home.


A chance encounter in the crowd with Lenny Carson has him leading her through the confusion of people and ultimately to Mr. Laemmle, the top production man at Universal. After the two men rattled on about mutual acquaintances, Mr. Laemmle began to take his leave for another appointment.


“Stepping around his desk, he faced Allyson and right then and there changed her life forever with a simple question. ‘How about tomorrow?’”


With that he gave a contract for seventy-five dollars per week to her and the instruction to report the next day as an actress.


“’I’m so happy Lenny,’” she told him. “’Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me. You’re the most wonderful man in the whole world.’”


Is he, or is this the beginning of something she couldn’t ever imagine?


Her friendship with a young writer at the studio develops during the story, eventually intersecting with her life with Lenny.


Readers will follow this path with her, caught up in the excitement, intrigue, and sadness of this quick moving, but impacting read.