This is the first novel in a compelling new series. The setting is Brighton in 1950 and the body of a girl is found cut into 3 pieces.
DI Edgar Stephens takes charge of the investigation and recalls a magic trick that he saw as a boy, called the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of this illusion was Max Mephisto, an old friend of Edgar’s. It transpires that Edgar and Max served together in WWII in a unit called the Magic Men. Max is still performing, touring seaside towns, and readers are treated to an insight into life in the theatre, not only on stage but in digs and seedy dressing rooms.
Upon discovering that he knew the dead girl, Mephisto decides to help with the investigation. He and Edgar soon discover that other members of their wartime unit are being hunted down and killed – all the deaths mimicking magic tricks. An interesting and atmospheric read with twists and turns on every page, an insight into postwar Britain and the variety circuit.