by G. Robert Frazier
Two for the Show (Thomas & Mercer, $15.99) by Jonathan Stone is a deceptively good novel that will leave you guessing at every turn.
Stone, who wrote the award-winning short “The Mailman” in last year’s Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded anthology, returns with a thoroughly engrossing tale of false identities, lies, kidnapping, and, maybe, just a little magic for good measure.
The book follows the firsthand account of Chas, who professes to have “the strangest job you’ve ever heard of.” Chas is a detective, but not the kind that scopes out the dirt on extramarital affairs, missing persons, or femme fatales. Rather, our hero is a computer hack whose specialty is garnering just enough information about his targets to make his employer, “Wallace the Amazing,” look, well, amazing.
Wallace, you see, is a supposed clairvoyant who mesmerizes crowds nightly at his Las Vegas show by picking folks from the audience and then proceeding to astound them with facts about their lives that he couldn’t possibly know. Of course, he knows everything because his marks are always carefully pre-identified prior to the show, giving Chas enough time to learn everything about them, and then secretly convey that information to Wallace.
When one of the targeted couples turns the tables on Wallace, Chas’s world is turned upside down. He immediately dreads that he has made a costly mistake that will expose Wallace for the fraud he is.
Read the full review at Killer Nashville.