Howard Books/Simon & Schuster, March 2012
When the story opens, Dane Collins’s wife has died in a horrible automobile accident. Dane, in his sorrow, takes up lonely residence in the Hayden, Idaho home they’d planned together, a sanctuary from their busy life as the Dane & Mandy team of Las Vegas stage show illusionists. But then a girl also named Mandy shows up on a Coeur d’Alene streetcorner, a beginning magician, looking exactly as Dane’s wife appeared forty years ago when they first met.
Meanwhile, young Mandy Eloise Whitacer has “appeared” at the Spokane County Fairgrounds, confused and, although in good health, apparently suffering delusions that she is living in an era forty years in the past. Moreover, she is an illusionist of uncanny ability who puts on brilliantly entertaining shows.
I’m not going to tell anymore for fear of giving spoilers to what is an intriguing, well-imagined story. The characters are superb, the dialogue just right, the novel premise a mixture of magic, black-helicopter intrigue, and an endearing love story. The science-fiction stuff is complex, but well-described. Illusion is a bit of a brain teaser and an excellent way to spend a few relaxing hours.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.