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The Body Double

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A dark, glittering debut novel echoing Hitchcock's Vertigo, The Body Double is the suspenseful story of a young woman who is recruited by a stranger to give up her old life and identity to impersonate a reclusive Hollywood star.

A strange man discovers our nameless narrator selling popcorn at a decrepit small-town movie theater and offers her an odd and lucrative position: she will forget her job, her acquaintances, even her name, and move to Los Angeles, where she will become the body double of the famous and troubled celebrity Rosanna Feld. A nervous breakdown has forced Rosanna out of the public eye, and she needs a look-alike to take her place in the tabloid media circus of Hollywood. Overseen by Max, who hired her for the job, our narrator spends her days locked up in a small apartment in the hills watching hidden camera footage of Rosanna, wearing Rosanna's clothes, eating the food Rosanna likes, practicing her mannerisms, learning to become Rosanna in every way. But as she makes her public debut as Rosanna, dining at elegant restaurants, shopping in stylish boutiques, and finally risking a dinner party with Rosanna's true inner circle, alarming questions begin to arise. What really caused Rosanna's mental collapse? Will she ever return? And is Max truly her ally, or something more sinister? The Body Double is a fabulously plotted noir about fame, beauty, and the darkness of Hollywood.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"The Body Double is an epic read and Emily Beyda is a thrilling writer. Fame, beauty, youth, and artifice have rarely been mined for such narrative gold. Fantastic in every sense of the word." - Elisa Albert

"Emily Beyda's book is so good she doesn't need a blurb from me." - Eve Babitz

"A hypnotic deep-dive into notions of female identity and visibility; it’s a lyrical nightmare that renders LA a prison, and the self a collapsible construct. The Body Double sucks you in with reflected glamour, and masterfully spits you out the same way Hollywood does— transfixed, disposable, wanting more." - Caite Dolan-Leach

"Compelling and provocative and fiercely intelligent. Emily Beyda's writing is a thrill." - Jennifer DuBois

"The Body Double is a deft, dark, and surprisingly unusual Hollywood story, cinematic in both substance and in style. Beyda's confident debut is both assured and unsettling. It's a noir, sure, but so much more—a tale for our times about the dangers of artifice, identity, and fame." - Ivy Pochoda

"Emily Beyda spins gorgeous prose around the black hole at the center of The Body Double. An existential thriller that vibrates at the uncanny pitch where screaming might be laughter, and a haunting portrait of a young woman as she disappears into the sinkhole of the camera. The Narcissus-funhouse of Hollywood, the moonlit windows of Los Angeles, the two-way mirror of consciousness—Beyda arrows directly for the crack in the glass." - Karen Russell

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