Appearances fascinate me. The idea of surface and illusion has long been something that intrigues me. When it comes to magic tricks, I am a girl very much amused. I'm amazed by Derren Brown, and even the simplest of card tricks can make me giggle. So The Bullet Trick was, immediately, the kind of story I wanted to get into.
William Wilson is a conjuror and illusionist trying to make a living when his line of business is in decline. Following a difficult gig in London, he heads to Berlin in hopes to boost his career. But the theatre there is full of all sorts of mysterious characters, all about tricks and sharades. He meets the very attractive Sylvie who becomes his personal assistant, but while all might seem well on the theatre stage, there are relationships to contend with, and ghosts from the past. Yeah, that does all sound quite vague, but there's so much going on and I'd hate to give slip to any spoilers. The story does include a missing woman, a murder, and some really sexy people, however.
Welsh really knows how to write glam, how to make the scenes shimmer. Visually, in a text way, it's just delicious. The scenery, the costumes, the bodies, are all written with a delightful dexterity. Such an exciting world, and Welsh nails it. Because, of course, such a beautiful life can't exist without all the dark, and the dangers. Every character has their light and their dark side, and it's up to the reader to decide who to like, and who to trust. The relationship between William and Sylvie satisfied because it was so real: attraction plays a big part in The Bullet Trick, and again I loved the idea of the beautiful woman who is tricky to work out. Also running through the narrative is a mystery and a crime, and there's always place to be guessing and second guessing, making for an exciting read. It's fast paced, and so thoroughly engrossing.
The Bullet Trick was a turn on for me - all that magic and sparkle and darkness. So deftly written too, thrilling and oh-so enjoyable. I've read the book as part of my Scottish Summer Reading Challenge, an effort to promote great Scottish fiction. You can read more about the book at Louise Welsh's website, and an extract too. Go on, tease yourself!