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Bluff’s Back-of-Book Description
Razor-sharp and spellbindingly told, Bluff takes us deep inside the fraught and fascinating world of a modern magician who becomes obsessed with magic’s dark twin―the underworld of the cardsharp.
“Hopelessly addictive.” ―Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of You Will Know Me.
“If you haven’t read Kardos yet, Bluff is the perfect place to start!” ―Lisa Scottoline, bestselling author of Exposed.
At twenty-seven, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she took first place at the World of Magic competition at eighteen and has never again reached such heights. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone in a New Jersey apartment with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills. In a desperate ploy for extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write for a glossy magazine and pitches the editor a seductive topic: the art of cheating at cards.
But when Natalie meets the perfect subject for her piece―a poker cheat who dazzles at sleight of hand―what begins as a journalistic gamble soon becomes a test of everything she thinks she knows about her talent, and herself. Natalie soon finds herself facing a dangerous proposition that could radically alter her fortune―to help pull off a $1.5 million magic trick that, if done successfully, no one will ever suspect happened. With Kardos raising the stakes chapter after chapter, Bluff is a breathtaking work of suspense from a writer at the top of his game.
A friend of mine listened to this book on audio, and told me about it. Her recounting of it was intriguing enough that I added it to my virtual ‘to read’ list and then my real bookshelf.
The last book I read was kind of heavy and emotionally stimulating. So when picking a book this time, I wanted something the opposite – quick and easy, not too deep or emotional. Like a fling; the book version of a fling. I picked up a few others and paged through them, but when I got to this one I felt like it was exactly what I was looking for. And you know what?! I was right.
Bluff is a suspenseful, easy to read fiction about a young female magician who finds herself in an interesting situations. The book actually starts off with her in an uncomfortable scenario, which made for a quick grab of my attention. And I like when gooks do that, too – introducing the reader to the character by showing us how they respond in difficult stations.
The author did a pretty good job with the main character for the most part. However, there were a couple times when I wondered if that’s really how she would have responded or acted if she was real. I kind of wonder if that’s due to the character being written by a man? Who knows I guess.
Additionally, there were a few other characters that where introduced that didn’t feel fully fleshed out; they were just kind of flat and unfinished feeling. This only felt disappointing in retrospect, though, and did not seem to take away from the main storyline. Like I said – it’s not a serious, deep book, it’s a surface level affair. Although, if I was tempted to look for a deeper meaning in Bluff, I think it would be something about the way people read others – like knowing if someone is a good person or not.
Anyways, the writing was pretty good and the story moved along nicely. As promised with a suspense, there were some twists I didn’t see coming, which was great; it wasn’t too predictable.
Most of the character interactions and dialogue were good. There was witty banter and enjoyable self-talk from the main girl (I always appreciate that). I think all my favorite quotes form the book are actually from her inner dialogue.
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Favorite Quotes From Bluff
“I heard somewhere that drinking alone is only sad if the booze is too cheap or too expensive.”
“Why had I gone and told my mother the truth when a lie was always better for our relationship.”
“Only minutes earlier we were having a good time. Amazing, I thought, how quickly an evening can turn dark. Ah, the holidays.”
“It was an incredible moment. A milestone I celebrated by not reacting at all.”
I enjoyed Bluff and I happily give it 3.5 stars. It was the perfect little novel to get me through my week (or two… I was busy), the kind of book you’d like to read on vacation or something.
A quick Google search tells me this author has written quite a few books, and they seem to be similar suspenseful, thriller types. Given my experience with this one – I would absolutely read another one of his.
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