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The Bullet Trick

by Louise Welsh

William Wilson, a Glaswegian boozing conjuror, down on his luck and working the lower cabaret clubs of London, is made an offer he can’t refuse – the chance to work in a Berlin night club. The timing couldn’t be better. William has become embroiled in a missing person case with one Inspector James Montgomery, a corrupt former copper, at its centre. But he doesn’t find an escape route in Berlin. Here he meets Sylve an exotic American who becomes his stage assistant and who tempts him into performing his most daring illusion - the bullet trick – for a mysterious rich client. The result sends Wilson running in total confusion back to his native Glasgow which is where the story begins.

Louise Welsh weaves together the two stories in this gripping thriller, cleverly cutting between the cities of Glasgow, London and Berlin in an act of prestidigitation worthy of her chief protagonist. Much has been made of the idea that Welsh may be the author to cross the genre novel with literary fiction. Don’t let this influence your reading of it. Read THE BULLET TRICK for what it is – a clever, exciting, well-written, thriller – and if it happens to get a Man Booker nomination then good luck to her. But I doubt if it will.

Louise Welsh talks to Lovereading about what being in a book group has meant to her.

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