Oscar-nominated star of Educating Rita and Billy Elliot's darkly funny debut novel.
Cissie is a stand-up comedienne and national darling.
Helena is the toast of Broadway.
Maggie is an extremely beautiful but troubled actress - and she's cracking up fast, in fact she's 'out of her tree'.
When Cissie takes Maggie to see Helena in New York, it leads to trouble straight away: Maggie disappears into the freezing February night, no one knows where.
As the search for their friend continues, alarming divisions occur in the lifelong friendships of Cissie, Helena and her stoic husband Luke. And then Cissie disappears too. So, two of the closest of friends are lost separately somewhere in snowbound Manhattan.
Julie Walter's dark and very funny first novel is as assured as her celebrated work for stage, television and the cinema. It is a brilliant debut.
Walter's fiction debut is as funny as you'd expect, and twice as frenetic.
Ms Walters is a gifted writer who entrances with a moving and darkly comic story
This is a disturbing and thought-provoking novel about mental torment and the often blackly comic, mixed-up ways we view ourselves and misread each other - Guardian
Walters can really whip up pace and rake (both movingly and wittily) through the deranged psychology of her characters...I must admit to being gripped as the denouement hurtled into focus - Daily Telegraph
Born in Birmingham 53 years ago, Julie Walters became a nurse before joining a Liverpool theatre group. Since then she has been nominated for an Oscar for Educating Rita, having made the part her own on stage, and starred in Billy Elliot. She is Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter films, and co-starred with Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls. This is her first novel.