The Bullet Trick
Review: The Bullet Trick is a stylish, noir thriller in addition to being a character study of one William Wilson, an introverted illusionist performing in modern Berlin.
There are two mysteries that run in parallel in The Bullet Trick. The narrative alternates between two time frames: one set in Berlin and taking place before some life-altering event, and the other set largely in Glasgow and taking place a year after this event. What happened between Berlin and Glasgow that caused such a drastic change in William Wilson is the first mystery.
The second mystery has to do with a missing person. Though often the more interesting storyline, it is less important to the overall plot of the book than the events leading up to the first mystery.
William Wilson isn't the most appealing of characters, but the reader is quickly swept up into his life and cares what happens to him. The alternating time frames help keep the reader's attention on William as he is the only fixed point of reference in the story.
Welsh writes exceedingly descriptive prose which usually makes for atmospheric settings, but at times seems overdone. And though the conclusion is not unexpected, it could have been written more in the noir style of most of the book instead of the somewhat mawkish approach chosen by the author.
Acknowledgment: Grove/Atlantic provided an ARC of The Bullet Trick for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Naming the Bones
Felony & Mayhem (Trade Paperback), February 2011
ISBN-13: 9781934609668; ISBN-10: 1934609668
Location(s) referenced in The Bullet Trick: Berlin, Germany
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The Bullet Trick by Louise Welsh
Publisher: Canongate Books
Publication Date: July 2006
List Price: $23.00