Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 368 pages
First Published: 2023
In 1956, Marion learns that being a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall is much more demanding than she imagined. When a bomb explodes in the theater, Marion urges the police to try a new technique: psychological profiling. As she gets caught up in the investigation, Marion realizes that she might be putting herself and those she loves at terrifying risk.
With a cutesy yet predictable plot, The Spectacular had an intriguing storyline about the Rockettes that keeps you engaged. Unfortunately, the writing was disappointing, constantly overexplaining backstories and telling the story instead of showing. Combine lackluster writing with uneven pacing, and The Spectacular was just an okay read.
New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis transports us back to 1950s Manhattan and glamorous Radio City Music Hall in her thrilling new novel about a talented young Rockette and a mysterious bomber terrorizing New York City.
New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her college sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they’d have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes—the glamorous precision-dancing troupe—she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer.
Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the “Big Apple Bomber,” who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a yearslong manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling.
As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she’s been training herself to blend in—performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes—if she hopes to catch the bomber, she’ll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.
About Fiona Davis
Fiona Davis is an author, former actress and journalist. Her books include The Spectacular, The Chelsea Girls, The Masterpiece, The Address, The Magnolia Palace, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue. She currently lives in New York City. Visit the author’s website →