by Kristy Cambron
About the Book
Not all illusions happen on the stage.
Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.
But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation. All the while Houdini’s words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it’s what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface—and shatter her carefully controlled world.
Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician’s Lie, challenging all to find the underpinnings of faith on their own life’s stage.
One of my favorite things about Kristy Cambron’s books is they make me look at history and historical figures in a way I never have before. Sure I’ve heard the names John Ringling and Harry Houdini but other than a general knowledge of what they did to make a living, I’ve not thought about them too much more.
The Illusionist’s Apprentice made me take notice. In fact, it drove me to look him up online and learn a little more about his life, especially the part Cambron focuses on—his effort to reveal fraudsters.
But this book was about so much more than Houdini’s life. In fact, while he’s mentioned and has impact on some of the characters, he is not one in the book. This story is really about Wren Lockhart, Houdini’s apprentice and perhaps the only person who knows his secrets. A woman whose life has become an illusion in itself. While she puts on the trousers, stage makeup, demeanor, and confidence of Wren, she has another life she keeps well-hidden from the public.
Yet when FBI agent Elliott Matthews enters her carefully constructed life, he sees beyond the facade and desires to learn more about this intriguing woman. As the two work together to solve a mysterious death that occurred during another entertainer’s planned spectacular.
Cambron paints a vivid picture of the vaudeville life from the costumes to the stage, the acts to the competitiveness to be known as the best, and the convoluted relationships. While there, readers also get a glimpse into the newly formed FBI, the prohibition era, and Boston.
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