Category Archives: Priest Christopher

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Heriz

DATE FINISHED: April 9th, 2012

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Victor Losa spends his life living up to his mentor’s accidentally overheard prediction that one day he will be “one hell of a magician”. When he quite suddenly loses his eyesight upon winning a lifetime achievement award Victor must learn to live a much different life than he has known. Victor’s journey is interwoven with the stories of various fictional and historical magicians, followed by the intervention of two very real women.

THOUGHTS:   A game of two halves, the first half of The Manual of Darkness describes the defining moments of Victor’s childhood and beyond: the death of his father, his training and learning curve as a magician, and the history of the magician’s trade via his mentor and substitute father-figure, Galvan. Read more of this post

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Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Christopher Brookmyre

DATE FINISHED: January, 2012 (catch-up post)             

RATED: *** 

SYNOPSIS:  Showman & psychic Gabriel Lafayette submits himself to tests under controlled conditions, to prove his ‘powers’. A student at the university is convinced he can prove Lafayette a fraud, but why is he so determined? Following his involvement with the project, sceptic Jack Parlabane narrates from beyond the grave as he tries to figure out if & what is the greater scheme afoot.

THOUGHTS:   Although (potentially) fraudulent mediums are a subject which interests me, I felt that rather heavy weather was made of what should have been an entertaining storyline.   Read more of this post

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold

DATE FINISHED: April 5th, 2011

RATED: ****

SYNOPSIS: President Harding dies just hours after participating in Carter the Great’s magic show.  Secret services want to know what (if anything) Carter had to do with the death.  The story flashes back to different episodes throughout Carter’s life & career until the mystery reaches its conclusion.

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

DATE FINISHED: March 30th, 2011

RATED: ****

SYNOPSIS: Two stage magicians of the 19th century spend a lifetime competing against each other professionally & feuding with each other unprofessionally.  Through the journals of the two magicians, various secrets are revealed…

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

White Stone Day by John MacLachlan Gray

DATE FINISHED: March 15th, 2011

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS: In Oxford, a young reverend finds amusement in entertaining his colleagues daughters with riddles, stories and photography. In London, a literally down at heel journalist finds himself investigating a séance only to receive an unexpected message from his deceased brother, followed by finding himself falsely imprisoned for a murder he did not commit. These disparate & seemingly unconnected storylines intertwine into a compelling period mystery.

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

Affinity by Sarah Waters

DATE FINISHED: March 11th, 2011

RATED: ****

SYNOPSIS: A visitor to a women’s prison finds herself drawn to one of the inmates, Selina, whose crime is listed as fraud and assault. Selina is a medium, whose trade before imprisonment was ‘dark circles’ in the homes of wealthy ladies. At first cautiously, a strong relationship is forged between the two women, but imagination and manipulation are equally strong powers at play…

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post