13 Jan 2015

Review - The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister


Title: The Magician’s Lie

Author: Greer Macallister

Rating: 3/5


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. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless—and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free… and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

I received a free ebook copy of this book by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:

What can I say? I’d been very excited to read The Magician’s Lie, but I didn’t exactly get what I thought I signed up for. It doesn’t mean I hated the book. At certain points I loved it very much and then I struggled with it a bit until I reached another interesting part. It was like life – full of ups and downs.

The beginning was very strong. I liked how the night-long interrogation situation was set up. I was often mesmerized by Holt and Arden’s conversation and their every little move in that tiny room. Their short interactions were gems in this story and they, in themselves, would deserve five stars. All questions and statements were masterly placed and they each had an impact on the speaker or the receiver. Reading these parts was an amazing experience.

What I didn’t like that much was the tale the magician told. I found the first half on Arden’s story quite good, up until the point she became a practicing magician. Then, I felt like I was on a tiring road tour just like Arden and her company but, unlike them, I didn’t enjoy it. Quite a few chapters were basically descriptions of new illusions and the plot resembled a pond in windless weather – it was standing still. Maybe it was just me, maybe I should have been more impressed by the list of illusions and by how many places she went to perform… but I just couldn’t care less.

Anyway, the writing was phenomenal, Greer Macallister has talent for sure. The structure of the novel was well-planned, although I would have liked to see more of Holt’s reactions to certain parts of the tale.

The characters were likable, except for Ryan, and I totally adored Officer Holt. There was so much sexual tension between him and Arden – mostly generated by Arden –, which seemed right, but then it didn’t seem right… weird, huh?

About the ending… it wasn’t exactly satisfying, but it was okay. I could have imagined an open ending for this book, it would have fitted so much. The way it is, I could figure out whether Arden was a murderer or not many pages before it actually turned out.

All things considered, I think The Magician's Lie deserves no more and no less than three stars.


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