Newly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates.
At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations -- while saving his own neck -- may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed.
High school reunions are always a mix of excitement and dread, with that person or persons who acts like you were best friends and you can't remember them. Eli's friend from high school, Jake, is now a movie star and cast to play a famous magician who died while performing the bullet catch (appear to catch the bullet between your teeth) trick. Only Jake doesn't grasp how to do the trick without ending up dead. Eli's task, as a magician, is to help Jake master the trick.
Before that can happen, there's the reunion itself, the girl (now, woman) he crushed on is high school, at least one person he doesn't remember at all, and a murder. Followed by another one. With murder, comes Eli's ex-wife and her new husband, once again coming at Eli as a suspect and a source of information.
Be prepared for anything as this is magic and the tricks abound. Add in Eli's fear of heights and the reactions of other magicians about the bullet catch trick, and the bodies piling up... Gaspard engages the reader with a quick pace, believable reactions, and well-developed characters. There are twists and turns, with two related plots to unwind. Well done and keeps you entertained.
This was an enjoyable read though my knowledge of magic is limited. I'd read the first in the series and enjoyed it - this one did not disappoint. You don't have to read the first to understand the awkwardness between Eli and his ex-wife or his passion for anything magic, but I always recommend starting at the beginning of the series. I'll be reading more of this series.
Available in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats
Books in the Eli Marks Mystery Series:
THE AMBITIOUS CARD (#1)
THE BULLET CATCH (#2)
THE MISER'S DREAM (#3)
THE LINKING RINGS (#4)
THE FLOATING LIGHT BULB (#5)
THE ZOMBIE BALL (#6)
THE MAGIC SQUARE (#7)
THE INVISIBLE ASSISTANT (Short Story)
THE LAST CUSTOMER (Short Story)
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