My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Amazing Arden is a famous illusionist, who is well known for her trick ‘the halved man’, where she saws (or hacks) a man in half, with blood and gore and drama and then he reappears whole again. But when a dead man is found amoungst the props for the the halved man, Arden is the main suspect.
Virgil Holt is a small town policeman with a secret of his own. WHen he sees the main suspect for the murder on the run, he catches her and takes her to his local police station, which is a tiny single room, to hold her until he can hand her over to the authorities. In that time, he wants to get to the truth of her story.
The book tells two parallel stories – one of the single night where Arden tells Virgil what happened to her. The other story is the one Arden tells Virgil. It’s the story of her life. Virgil (and the reader) doesn’t know what to believe. As unreliable narrators go, Arden is brilliant and in the tradition of The Usual Suspects.
This is a desperately compelling book. Beautifully written. I raced through it. I got a review copy from Netgalley on a whim. I’m so glad I did.