Grove Atlantic, 2018, 280 pages
At 27, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she started touring at 17, took first place at the World of Magic competition at 18, and never reached such heights again. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills in a New Jersey apartment. In a desperate ploy to make extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write a feature magazine article - on the art of cheating at cards.
But when she meets the perfect subject for her article, what begins as a journalistic gamble brings into question everything Natalie thinks she knows about her talent, and herself. Natalie is dazzled by the poker cheat's sleight of hand and soon finds herself facing a proposition that could radically alter her fortune - to help pull off a $1.5 million magic trick that, if done successfully, no one will ever even suspect happened.
With Kardos raising the stakes chapter after chapter, Bluff is a breathtaking work of suspense from a writer at the top of his game.
Poker, magic tricks, card sharking, and double-crosses all the way to the end.
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