Abracadabra

David Kranes. Univ. of Nevada, $19.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-943859-44-3
Sprightly yet elegant prose propels this first-rate debut mystery from Kranes (Making the Ghost Dance). Elko Wells, a former professional football player who retired from the game after a head injury, now owns a missing persons’ bureau and an agency for celebrity impersonators in Las Vegas, Nev. When Mark Goodson, a 42-year-old former Eagle Scout with a problematic marriage, steps into a magician’s box during a performance and disappears, his wife, Lena, goes to Elko for help in finding him. Supported by a network of cocktail waitresses known as the Bloody Marys and a good-natured and physically imposing Shaquille O’Neal impersonator, Elko starts piecing together the details of Mark’s career. All the characters, whether major players or walk-ons, are full of life and disarmingly human. Kranes explores not only the enigma of how and why Mark vanished but also the greater mystery of what identity is. Along the way, he treats the reader to a gritty, glossy, sometimes glamorous and always witty view of Las Vegas and its inhabitants. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 11/15/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-87417-600-1
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