Bluff begins as a noirish character piece, and the magic angle is very interesting. The story is held together by Webb, an intriguing and sympathetic protagonist with enough back-story to ensure her decisions carry an emotional weight. The introduction of Ellen changes the book into a heist thriller, but Webb’s first person narration keeps the tone the same throughout, and the change of pace is not at all jarring ... The magic is elevated by something unexpected, something extraordinary. I’m not going to spoil for you Kardos’ final twist, but be assured it elevates a good book in to an excellent one.
In the tantalizing new thriller Bluff, Michael Kardos reveals himself to be a master at dealing from the middle of the deck. More than once, you're sure of the fate of Natalie, a 27-year-old magician who has run out of luck, inspiration and money. But then Kardos fools you with his smooth shell game ... Bluff doesn't miss a trick.
It would be inaccurate, though not entirely untrue, to describe Michael Kardos’ new novel as a slow burner. Kardos is an author of immense, if somewhat unappreciated, talent who is incapable of writing badly, so it would be unfair to say that not much happens in the first two-thirds of the book ... Anyone who has ever wondered about how a card trick was done or where that coin (or pigeon or rabbit) went will love Bluff. But be prepared for the final third of the book. There are some tricks from which you don’t come back.
Bluff by Michael Kardos is a twisty and masterfully plotted tale about the lure of the con and one woman’s fight to keep herself clean and stick to her magician’s code ... Kardos does a brilliant job of making Natalie a character to root for. Her backstory is doled out in strategically placed scenes, and her desperation feels real ... Bluff has a magician’s touch with the storytelling, concealing just enough when necessary, revealing its hand only when it makes the most impact and wows the audience.
At the start of this intriguing if flawed caper novel from Kardos (Before He Finds Her), 27-year-old magician Natalie Webb loses her cool with an audience volunteer and nearly blinds him with a thrown playing card at a holiday party held at a Newark, N.J., hotel ... The thrills come finally on the night of the game and in its startling aftermath. This works best as a character study of Natalie, who has a deep backstory that explains her current straits and motivation.