Reading Decathlon, book 8
by Jonathan Stone
Plot: Chas works as an investigator, but his only client is an unusual one – Vegas magician Wallace the Amazing. Chas is the reason Wallace can mystify his audience by knowing everything about them. It’s a hidden partnership, but it’s worked for 20 years. Then one day something goes wrong with the show. As Chas tries to find out what happened, he gets pulled into hidden identities, kidnapping, and violence. Just when you think you know what’s happening, the plot shifts and you’re left with nothing but questions.
Pros: I love the basic idea of the Vegas mentalist and his hidden staff. I liked the sudden shifts in the plot, the way Stone keeps you guessing.
Cons: So many! First, the characters. Their motivation was unconvincing. I never understood why people were after Wallace. And why was Chas so sneaky and crafty is some things, and so trusting in others? But the biggest problem was Wallace. Everything in the story revolved around him. I like that he remains a mystery, even at the end of the book, but I didn’t think anything about the guy made sense.
Another drawback was the pacing. Stone would stick these long pages of interior monologue and explanation in there where they didn’t belong and only slowed the action down. I get it already. Move the story forward.
I picked this one up because I loved Stone’s previous book, Moving Day. But this one is such a disappointment. I think with some editing, it could be worth reading. But as it stands – don’t bother. 2.2 stars