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The Crack Magazine


Bad Magic

A. M. Stirling, Wombach Press

The key dynamic in this thriller is between cousins, Richard and Amanda, who share a creepy lust/hate relationship. Amanda, a couple of years older than Richard, took Richard’s virginity when they were in their teens but they haven’t met for a number of years. When they are reunited at a family funeral in Toronto, Richard falls under her peculiar spell once again. After a few days however he returns to his hometown of Newcastle where he runs a small gallery, which is being kept afloat through the largesse of his grandmother. But when Amanda announces that she is also returning to Newcastle, to look after the grandmother, Richard starts to suspect all manner of wrongdoing. He’s also trying to keep his lover/partner happy as well as a local big shot who is wanting to make a name for himself in the art world. Although I could have done with a few more narrative twists of the knife, particularly in the latter stages, this is a solid debut from a first time author.