The Magician's Lie by Grace Macallister
|The Magician's Lie by Grace Macallister|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A mesmerising mystery story with a brilliantly strong lead – The Magician's Lie is packed full of clever tricks and illusions that will dazzle the reader, although perhaps not quite enough…|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: April 2017|
|Publisher: Legend Press|
|External links: Author's website|
The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. But one night she swaps her trademark saw for an axe. When Arden's husband is found dead later that night, the answer seems clear, most of all to young policeman Virgil Holt. Captured and taken into custody, all seems set for Arden's swift confession. But she has a different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless, and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding.
Greer Macallister is an American author, and The Magician's Lie is her first novel. It's an incredibly impressive debut – full of period atmosphere and a plot that twists, turns, and pulls the reader into a tale of a fascinating woman who defies both society and expectations in her journey. The main pull of the plot is that of an accused woman pleading her innocence, but as she does so the reader, and the lawman questioning her, are drawn into her life story. It's a fascinating story too – packed full of romance, mystery and, of course, magic.
It's in Arden's story that the book really comes to life – a dark upbringing in late 19th century America, Arden's growth from illegitimate burden to strong, clever and successful magician is a fascinating one to read. Whilst the story itself is exceptionally strong, I did feel things fell down a little when it comes to the climax of the mystery – the complex tendrils and layers of plot built up throughout never seemed to tie up into a satisfying bow. The pace builds up exceptionally well though, so whilst the reader may not be breath taken by the climax, they'll certainly be breathless. What Greer Macallister has truly succeeded in though, is bringing to life a compelling, layered and unique character in Arden – she stands apart from the rest of the book and brings the gothic setting a touch of the modern, her exchanges with Officer Holt filled with tension and fantastic descriptions. One character who truly embraces the gothic setting is Ray, Arden's psychotic cousin. At times he verges on a full-on moustache-twirling villain, which I rather enjoyed – if the book was longer he could have perhaps done with a little more development, but as it stands I thought he was a perfectly fun villain and a good contrast to Arden's ballsy heroine.
A fun ride well told, The Magician's Lie is a compelling rollercoaster of a journey that only slightly veers off course towards the end. Definitely worth picking up, and many thanks to the publishers for the copy.
For further reading, I recommend The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements – a compelling historical thriller with a strong female lead and packed full of intrigue and danger.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Magician's Lie by Grace Macallister at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Magician's Lie by Grace Macallister at Amazon.com.
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