I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

OF GHOSTS AND MAGIC by Alfred M. Albers

Infinity Publishing.com
1094 New DeHaven Street,
West Conshohocken, PA
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Average to Good
ISBN: 0741441217, $15.95, 276 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"In 1973, Alex Holloman got a job as a courier and met a wonderful lady. Suddenly, his world fell apart; his parents were killed and then he inexplicably disappeared. When America’s Foremost Magician, John Michaels, agreed to perform for his high school’s 30th Anniversary Reunion in June 2000, he didn’t know it would also involve searching for his friend, Alex Holloman. Unlike creating a magic illusion, which is based on principles of mathematics and science, attempting to find a missing person would challenge John Michaels’ expertise to ‘create a miracle’ in less than three weeks."

This fictional mystery has several positive attributes: 1) detailed information about New York City and Virginia Beach, 2) how one might go about locating a missing person, and 3) entertaining descriptions of professional magic acts. The story is basically that John Michaels, a professional magician, is asked to perform at his 30th high school reunion. He learns that his best friend in high school, Alex, is missing. So, he sets himself the challenge of putting together his show and locating Alex, and through these efforts he also renews his acquaintance with Stella.

There were several things, to my taste, I did not care for: 1) The amount of ‘fluff and fill’ polite dialogue–in this case somewhat cliched–to read through to find the story, and 2) the extensive detailing of every action, as though this novel were a screenplay.

It is stated on the back cover that Al Albers is a Technical Writer for a major defense contractor. Possibly that would explain the author’s attention to action details. Other than that, I found this well-written, well-edited novel to be an enjoyable, light read. And, if you’re interest in magic and love details, this may be just the book for you.