I’ve just finished Carter Beats the Devil, and it’s a humdinger, I can tell you. You and I know each other well, and I think I can honestly say it’s very much your kind of book. Go and buy it immediately. It’s a roaring adventure, set mostly in the roaring ’20s, centring on a master conjourer who is chased by the US Secret Service for his apparent part in the death of the President.
I first read about the book in a 2001 review by Peter Preston, former Guardian editor and a part-time magician himself. I very much hope his stage persona is called Peter Presto. His review glowed, so I bought a copy for Jamie. And finally I got my own copy as a birthday present, which was the only way I could see of extracting myself from my literature drought.
Now I’m doing the thing I always do having read something like that — I’m creating fantasy movie trailers for it my head. But that’s got to stop. I’m heading towards Stuart: A Life Backwards next, which I suspect will be rather more sobering.