I just picked this up at my local library.
Stats: 320 pages, the audio was 9 discs but I don’t know how many hours. Published in January 2015. The audio book is narrated by Julia Whelam and Nick Podehl.
Blurb: (Goodreads) 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.
What I liked: It was generally entertaining. I liked that the protagonist is a woman magician. I could tell that Macallister did her homework related to the time and place that such acts would perform at. I wonder if she modeled The Amazing Arden off of a real magician of the time. It has a happy ending, which I always like. And a very bad, bad-guy, though having him show up after a certain thing that happens between the two is a wee-bit far fetched, but not enough to ruin the story for me. Julia Whelan and Mick Podehl are very believable with their character narrations.
What I didn’t like: Some descriptions of the various magic shows got a little old – too much of it, I mean, and the explanation of some of the tricks weren’t always easy to understand. The chapters went back and forth between real time and Arden’s past and it was sometimes slow to read the real time chapters which on one or two occasions didn’t seem to need to be there, Arden’s past being the more interesting story.
Rating: a low 4/5, overall entertaining but slow at times.