Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welsh, Louise: The Bullet Trick

Although a review refer to her earlier novel 'The Cutting Room', I found this rather different from my memory of that novel which was dark and Gothic in time. Another review says "reaches new depths of depravity" which makes me wonder what
the reviewer had read as, despite the seedy background of a Soho club with two girl strippers in a private performance and
a Berlin 'erotic cabaret', there is nothing shocking. The main female does appear to be something of a whore but there is
only one relatively mild incident. London in the recent past kicks the story off though this is related in backflash from a
contemporary Glasgow with the Berlin episode at the heart of the tale. The protagonist is a stage magician who is sinking
physically and mentally because he has killed the girl who assisted him in Berlin; complicating this is his possession of a photo which implicates a senior policeman in the mysterious disappearance of a criminal's wife some decades earlier.
The writing is smooth and clear with a light touch despite the rather heavy subject matter and the whole fits well - I am not
overly fond of novels which intercut between the now and the then but it works here. Even the surprise ending is not out
of place.

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