A magician falls for an investment adviser in another mystery/romance by prolific author Parker (Surviving Goodbye, 2014, etc.).
In Detroit, magician Violet, the “female alternative to Criss Angel,” wows audiences while masked and in a Catwoman costume. Violet’s manager and lover, Luke Kemble, has been in her life since college. Spurred by robust box office returns, the pair hopes to take the show to Broadway and eventually Las Vegas. One night, Violet invites spectator Carter Borden to participate in her act. The two have sparkling onstage chemistry, and Violet shares her phone number with Carter, who often thinks of her but doesn’t call. An expert on options and derivatives, Carter has many wealthy clients, including Bill Thomason, who has invested in Violet’s act. Bill is concerned about a potential romance between Violet and Carter; the disruption of Luke and Violet’s manager-performer dynamic could have negative consequences. A good introduction cleverly sets the stage, and care is taken in developing the relationship between Violet and Carter. The novel doesn’t take itself too seriously, offering a pleasant excursion into the world of magic and a light touch with characterization and plotting. The setting is a plus, shining a light on Carter’s hometown, the beleaguered city of Detroit. Other positives include Carter’s shared past with his ex-wife (he drives by her house frequently), the revelation of the secret behind an illusion in Violet’s act, and an unexpected identity twist near book’s end. An extended torture sequence (and the justification for it) strains credulity, and some questions remain unanswered.
An entertaining bit of fluff; implausible
in parts but delivers romance and violence, per the title.