Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician’s Lie, a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband’s murder –and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.
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. -Goodreads
When I first read the blurb of this book, I was pretty skeptical. I was curious though because I rarely read circus and magician related books so I decided to dive in as soon as I could. I was pleasantly surprised by just how lovely the book was.
So the books starts out with Officer Vigil and his partner at an Amazing Arden magic show. Later that evening, after the performance, the two officers hear that there was a murder at the very theater that Arden had just performed in. They both go to see what happened and declare that Arden, who has gone missing, should be the main suspect. Later, Virgil leaves his partner at the crime scene and heads out. He intends to go home but stops at a place to grab a bite. There, he finds Arden and arrests her without calling it in. He brings her to a small police station where no one goes really and begins to question her. Arden weaves a beautiful and tragic story from the time when she was a unseen and frightened child all the way up to the day of the murder as Officer Virgil decides if she is innocent or if she should be hanged.
The first thing I found to be pretty interesting was the era it was set in. The story is set around the Victorian era I suppose. It’s a time when policemen rode around on horses and women were still thought of as being well beneath men. At first that didn’t sit too well with me but the era grew on me. Much like the story really.
When it started, I wasn’t sure if I liked the direction it was taking but very soon I found myself completely immersed in Arden’s story and I just kept wanting to hear more. I found myself feeling every emotion that Arden explained strongly. Rage at Ray, anger, love, romance and sadness.
There isn’t much more for me to say but that you really need to read this book when it hits the shelves. I predict that this book is going to be huge. And you heard that here first!
My Rating: 4/5
Publication Date: 13th January 2015
*An advanced copy of this book was given to me to review by the publishers*
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