Published by Grand Central Publishing on July 25, 2017
Source: the publisher
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A glamorous romp through the scandals and secrets of LA's most exclusive fictional magician's society, CLUB DECEPTION.
Claire Fredericksson is the beating heart of CLUB DECEPTION, LA's most exclusive magician's society. She's the Queen Bee of Magician WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends), and the genius behind her philandering husband Jonathan's award-winning magic show. Claire's life is upended by the arrival of two new women to the closed group of wives-Jessica, a young trophy wife with a secret, and Kaimi, an art expert looking for the long-lost Erdnase papers by posing as a girlfriend. When a magician rivalry erupts into murder, the women must uncover the truth and set things right for the men they love. With a cast of endurance experts, Vegas stage stars, and close-up card handlers, this novel weaves a tale of murder, fame, and many, many illusions.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I chose to read Club Deception by Sarah Skilton because I don’t often choose stories that have magicians in them and because I loved this cover. I’m glad to say that this one paid off.
One of the best things about this book is that is was easy to read in small doses. Do y’all ever get busy and have to read when you get stolen moments – a few minutes here, a chapter or two there? That has been my life lately. This one worked well for this busy time. There are multiple POVs with chapters that are on the shorter side, which made it easy for me to put this book in my bag and carry it around with me everywhere: while I was running my errands and while I was waiting for my kids at horse lessons and fencing lessons, and while I was in between tasks or events. I know that not everyone has this issue, but there are many times that I have to wait on a book because I need large chunks of time to devote to reading it. This was perfect for reading on the go, and I loved that.
Speaking of the multiple POVs, this part of the story structure worked well here. There are four characters that give us their perspectives: Jessica, Claire, Felix, and Kaimi (pronounced “Kai-may” according to my copy of the book). It sounds like a lot, I know, but by reading all of these characters’ thoughts, we are able to spy on this secret society of magicians through basically every type of eyes–insiders to the club and outsiders. There is plenty of scandal and secrecy surrounding Club Deception and its members, and I wanted every bit of it. All four of these POVs gave me what I wanted.
I liked all of these characters so much, I really did. Of the four, I think my favorites were Kaimi and Felix. I think that with the way the book is written, Claire and Jessica are supposed to be the two “main” POVs, and their plot lines are great. But Felix has such a neat view of what’s happening – so much drama! – and his character develops so much from the beginning to the end. Also, I liked Kaimi so much that I selfishly wish I had more of her story. She’s the one I called “the outsider” because of how she sort of landed among those at Club Deception. By the end of the story, though, she has made really cool links with a few of the characters. Her backstory is teased just enough to make me wish for more than we were given. I won’t say that I was disappointed that I didn’t learn enough about her, but I certainly wouldn’t mind it if she were to show up in another story somewhere. The same goes for Felix. (I always feel really greedy when I wish for that, but I also like to share those thoughts!)
This definitely felt more like a character-driven book because I never felt like there was much big action happening. The pace picked up a little bit toward the end of the story, but that honestly wasn’t my favorite part. Still, I never felt like I wanted to put the book down. I was invested in all of these characters the entire way through.
If I could change anything, it would be the synopsis. I think it is a little bit misleading when it hints at a mystery. The prologue informs us that there has been a murder, so we know it going into the book. But the murder isn’t mentioned again until…way too far into the book for me to even be concerned about this aspect of the story. I spent a chunk of the time wondering when the mystery was coming, but eventually I gave up and just decided to enjoy the story line as it was. I think it might be better to just expect something closer to fiction. The characters tell a good story and their progression is great. They are well developed and the way they end up eventually connecting is really fun. But the wait for this murder mystery is a really long one. When it finally arrives, I think it is less interesting than the progression of these characters as a group of people.