Carter Beats the Devil
Glen David Gold
( sceptre, 2001)
I was utterly captivated by this novel, despite working out one of the mysteries quite early on. It tangles together stage magicians, childhood tramas, fate-dictated romances and the American Secret Service. The opening of the second section, dealing with Carter's childhood reminded me sharply of Citzen Kane, although doubtless the mentions of (William Randolph) Hearst were also responsible for that. In fact, the entire book reminds me of Welles and his fascination with magic and illusion. There are the occassional moments where Gold spells things out a little too hard, and one supporting character who really should work very well as a hard-boiled anti-hero has a curiously lacklustre storyline despite some excellent character pieces. Overall, though, a great read.
(Any Doctor Who novels fan reading this will be hopelessly reminded of Sabbath as well, I should warn you)