The Magicians Lie by Greer Macallister
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.
I previously requested the authors other novel girl in disguise from Netgalley (which I really enjoyed) but that is not what drew me to this novel. As a bookworm I have a teeny tiny confession, I have never read Harry Potter or any novel that involves magic at all. This is something I am hoping to change & for this reason I decided to give this book a go! Not my usual cup of tea but a new one I was telling myself I was going to love. I was not let down…….one bit!
This novel starts out with the arrest of Arden a famous illusionist in 1905 USA. Her husband has been found dead and policeman Virgil Holt has her in the custody of his office, tied to the chair with several pairs of handcuffs for good measure! What follows is reflective chapters that tell us all about Arden’s life and what brought her to be in this situation, a suspect likely to hang for a murder she says she did not commit. There are also chapters with the story set in the Virgil’s office. These are insanely gripping, as Arden delivers her story to Virgil it becomes a battle of wits & minds games between the two. What I absolutely loved about this was that it became an almost Keyser Soze type situation. Will Arden talk her way out of it? What are Virgils’s intentions? Is Arden a liar & killer? Where will this story take us?
Arden’s story continues on with epic pace, it is a life well lived & she has known great hardships. It is a story of betrayal & brutality also one of love & strength. The novel is so very well written, I started to ponder if Arden was based on a factual person! The stories of a magician’s life are atmospheric. We truly see how Arden Thrived in this environment and how it enabled her to become the woman she is. It also describes the energy, buzz & mystery of Arden’s magic so well. We learn all about her introduction into the world of magic and her mentor the great Madame Herrmann. Who is quite the character herself! There are some really poignant phrases/dialogue within the novel. I read due to a spinal injury which leaves me in chronic pain so I found “even when life is full of pain, it’s better than the alternative” very touching!
Don’t want to say too much more for fearing of leaving spoilers! But the story of Amazing Arden with her fairy eye & travelling show is 5* & one not to be missed!
*Kindle edition currently available for just £2.84 in the UK.
*I received an Arc via Netgalley in return for an honest review.