I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
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.
A magical and mysterious historical thriller, perfect for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants.
The Magician’s Lie is an excellent read if, like me, you’re fascinated by anything magic-related – even when the magic is just a trick. This is one of those books that always left me wanting more: more time with the characters, more time to read it. My only regret is that I picked this up in a fairly busy period, and so I couldn’t dedicate as much time as I wanted to reading it. But, in the time I had available, it kept me glued to the page from the very beginning!
The Amazing Arden, or Ada, was a most intriguing character. She is an incredibly strong-willed and gifted young woman, and the abuse she endures as a child only makes her resolve greater. I really admired her ability to build her own life form scratch and to a way out of any difficult situation. Her story completely captured Virgil’s attention, and mine with him.
Up until the very end, I kept wondering whether she had actually done what she was accused of – was this the magician’s lie or was she being truthful? I liked the conclusion, but most of all, I liked the journey to discovering what had happened. The writing was excellent and the characters were wonderfully complex, even though some of them (like Virgil) feel merely instrumental to Arden’s storytelling. My only complaint is that some passages detailing how Arden set up her show were a bit too long and slow for my taste – but that’s only personal taste!
If you like a captivating thriller/mystery in a wonderfully detailed historical setting, this book is definitely for you. The Magician’s Lie will keep you wondering right up to the end: what is true, and what is just an illusion?