A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.
Dark Magic, by James Swain (Tor):
Prior to writing more than half a dozen books about casino security expert Tony Valentine (Grift Sense, Loaded Dice, etc.), James Swain put together a 122-page non-fiction work called Don’t Blink: The Magic of James Swain (1992). And according to his Web site, the author’s been “an avid magician for most of his life.” It’s hardly surprising, then, that his interest in legerdemain should become a source for his fiction. In Dark Magic, he presents a magician, Peter Warlock, who’s known for his astounding performances at a theater in New York City. But it’s what Peter does in his off-hours that’s most remarkable: he’s part of a shadowy contingent of psychics who can see into the future, and who regularly warn police or other authorities--anonymously, of course--when big trouble is in the offing. After one of his séances suggests that a deadly attack on Times Square is due just four days away, though, Peter and his cohorts decide they must take a more active role in heading off the violence. What they don’t expect is to encounter another group of more nefarious psychics, who want to make Peter and his colleagues disappear forever. Swain boils up a brew here that combines the occult with crime solving in most intriguing fashion.