Publication Date: 13 January 2015
Format: eBook, 323 pgs
Set at the turn of the 20th century in Waterloo, Iowa, The Magician's Lie is a historical mystery revolving magic, a female illusionist who called herself the Amazing Arden, and a murder which everyone thinks she had committed.
The story opens with Arden performing her famous illusion of the Halved Man - cutting a man into half and then having him comes out alive and whole. This illusion is one trick she'd performed endlessly without fail but on that fateful evening, something dreadful happened. Someone behind the stage found her husband trapped in one half of the box dead after the performance. Needless to say, Arden becomes the prime suspect with a motive to kill. After all, in the opening of the story she did think of killing her tormentor. Surely her husband is the one who tormented her?
Officer Virgil Holt of Janesville Police Department witnessed her amazing performance together with his colleague, Officer Mose Huber on that same evening. Mose thinks a little magic may distract Holt of his medical problem, but little do they know that they are to face a tricky case involving magic. Is Arden truly meant to murder her husband? If she has claimed she's innocent, then who had killed him?
As Officer Holt interrogated her, Arden insisted that she is no murderess, and she began to tell him about her past; starting since she was a girl, her relationship with her mother and a cousin called Ray, the reason they moved to Janesville, how she came to be an illusionist, and finally what happened on that fateful evening. As Officer Holt is caught up by her story, he couldn't help but to wonder if what she'd told him is the truth or simply just lies. After all her expertise is tricking people, isn't it?
The Magician's Lie is both a fascinating and intriguing story in all sense. For starters, the magic setting is enough to captivate readers. After all, who doesn't love a good magic performance, even if it is only told in paper. Then, there is the characterisations, the plot and even how the story is executed (flashbacks and present, which I thought was very nicely done.) As much as I was intrigued with the murder case, I was also very much intrigued with Arden's past. Like Officer Holt, I followed her story with eagerness, not knowing what to expect, and whether or not should I believe the story she's telling. And speaking of Officer Holt, he is a righteous man given his position, but deep beneath he has full of doubts, including his personal life. In the end, I felt nothing but sympathy towards him.
In conclusion, this story is simply fascinating. My whole reading journey is tinged with anticipation, be it Arden's story or the reveal of the real killer. I have to say the ending surprised me, but it was a good surprise. Recommended for readers who love historical and mystery.