Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I finished The Bullet Trick by Louise Welsh at lunch today. It's her second full length novel and was just as good as the first. This one follows a magician named William Wilson back home in Glasgow to apparently drink himself to death, interspersed with chapters on his recent time spent in Berlin and the horrible thing that happened there that sent him staggering back to Scotland. The atmosphere of the Berlin sections is foreboding because the reader not only knows they are building up to a tragic event, one that puts William in a sharp downward spiral, but also gradually comes to believe this happens during the course of a magic act, thus ratcheting up the tension whenever William steps on stage. Back in Glasgow, William faces a threat from a different corner, one that originally made Berlin an appealing escape, but finds he can't outrun either situation. It's a fantastic modern noir novel and Welsh has jumped up the ranks to join those authors whose books I eagerly anticipate.

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