“In darkness, I like to think, I can see like a cat.”
The Magician’s Tale by David Hunt
Pub. 1997; 401 pages
A few weeks ago, I walked into my cubicle at work on a dreary Monday, and sitting in my chair was a copy of this book. No note attached indicating where it had come from, I could only assume that the Book Fairy had left it for me. And who doesn’t love it when the Book Fairy comes to visit?? It eventually came to light that a co-worker friend had brought it to share, thinking that it would be something I would enjoy. After attempting, and failing miserably, to make it through House of Leaves, I decided it was time to try something new, to remind me of why I was participating in the R.I.P. challenge. I look to my left, and lo and behold, The Magician’s Tale was just lying there, staring invitingly at me, just begging to be read. Who am I to refuse, especially when it was apparent that it would meet the RIP requirements?
Thus I began to devour the loveliness that is The Magician’s Tale. At the heart of the story lies Kay Farrow, a photographer who is made all the more intriguing by the fact that she has achromatopsia, a type of color blindness must more severe than the normal red/green variety. Kay only sees in shades of black and white. It is while working on a current photography project that she begins to frequent The Gulch, a seedy part of San Francisco full of hustlers, hookers and pimps. She becomes friendly with a young man named Tim Lovesy, drawn in by his incredible beauty and mysterious talents. When Tim is discovered murdered, his body cut into pieces, Kay’s life begins to spiral out of control as she tries to solve the mystery of his death. Little does she know how the life of a street hustler could be so connected to her own, to her past, and the reader can only sit in amazement as the pieces fly in the air like scrambled puzzle pieces, and then somehow all fit together.
I’ve always gone through genre reading spells. In the late 90’s, I read a lot of romances, with mysteries and thrillers interspersed in between. I’m surprised that I didn’t encounter The Magician’s Tale at that time. It was a sheer pleasure to enjoy it now, in a time when I needed a reminder of why I love reading. I look forward to reading the sequel, Trick of Light, also featuring the charismatic, yet enigmatic, Kay Farrow.