Friday, April 07, 2017

Torn & Restored -- Austin Williams

Rusty Diamond, former stage magician, left Las Vegas after a trick goes terribly wrong at the birthday party of the daughter of a well-known mobster.  He's been living off the grid for two years, but someone has located him somehow, and he's received some odd mail, the latest item being a box that holds a greeting card, a sheet of textbook paper, three human teeth, and an adult index finger severed just above the knuckle.  The only way Diamond can find out what's going on is to return to Las Vegas.

It's a trap, of course.  A very smart young man named Trent has been nursing a grudge against Diamond, and he's been posting videos on the dark web of himself dressed in garb like Diamond wore for his act.  He looks Diamond, and he's performing Diamond's tricks, except that he's doing them for real -- snuff shows.  His threat is that he'll give the video to the police, who'll believe it's Diamond who's in them.  Trent hooks up with the mobster, who'd also like to destroy Diamond.  They're going to do it, too, if Diamond can't pull one last trick out of his sleeve.

The Las Vegas local color's strong in this book, and material about magic tricks is always of interest.  Some of the story takes place in the tunnels under the city, and I like stuff like that.  Williams manipulates his fast-moving plot well, with a good bit of violence.  Things don't end without serious costs to some of the characters.  It's all well done, and there's a satisfying conclusion.

The Rusty Diamond series was originally planned as a trilogy, but there's a strong indication at the end that Diamond will be back, this time in a different city.    

1 comment:

Glen Davis said...

I'm a sucker for the magician detective sub-genre, so I read the first two stories in the series. I enjoyed both of them. I'm glad to see that it may continue into the future.