The Amazing Arden is one of the most famous Illusionists in America. After a show in a little town in Iowa the body of her husband is found stuffed into the saw horse trick and the Amazing Arden is nowhere to be found. That is until Sheriff Virgil spots her in a diner trying to make a run for it. After arresting her and bringing her back to his little station she begins to tell her story. From the time that she is a small child up through present day. As Virgil listens to her story, he must decide what is real and what is just an illusion.
I have been intrigue with turn of the century illusion since my trip to the magic castle in early July. In fact, you can see my last creating herstory piece based on that visit here.
I loved the intimate story telling between Arden and Virgil. Throughout the story, Macallister brings us back to this little room with just these two characters, they interact in this incredibly intimate way. There is so much story that happens between just two characters and yet it’s just a conversation between two people.
Arden’s story is compelling. Equally tragic and compelling. There were a number of times, that I felt incredibly anxious while reading the story. Macallister expertly layers the emotions and tenseness.
The one thing that didn’t work for me was the central villain. He along with some of the other supporting characters didn’t feel developed enough for me. I love a good villain but it felt like she missed the mark ever so slightly in an attempt to make him the perfect psychopath. But this isn’t enough to detract from the rest of the story which overall is a spellbinding story.