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When the police find the decapitated head of a young man with the body nowhere to be found, they are stunned. They begin to piece together the clues and soon find out that the head belongs to Tim Lovesey, a handsome prostitute who worked in the seedy section of San Francisco called Polk Gulch. In this sexually charged neverworld, the police prefer to look the other way and chalk this up as another bizarre crime in an equally bizarre area of town, setting the premise for The Magician's Tale, one of the summer's most chilling thrillers.

Kay Farrow, a professional photographer who was working on a photo book about the hustlers in the Gulch, is the only person who seems to care about the grisly murder, and she proceeds to investigate further, hoping to get to the bottom of this strange crime. Kay, an achromat suffering from an extreme color blindness, possesses a unique vision that informs her world as well as sharpens her skills as a talented photographer.

During Kay's quest for justice, the search takes her back in time to an unsolved serial murder case. This case has many similarities to Tim Lovesey's murder, but the police proceedings are what strike closest to home with Kay. Her father was one of the officers on the case and due to police mistakes the case was never solved, resulting in Kay's father getting ousted from the police force. Kay's further investigation of the murder takes her to Tim Lovesey's "uncle," who tells her the interesting tale of Tim's magician past. Kay learns more about Tim's mysterious history and discovers how he was teamed with his twin sister inamagic act that lasted for most of their childhood.

Risking her life and everything she holds sacred, Kay must sort through the riddles of the past and present before she can uncover the truth in Tim's death. Along her search she faces potential mental and bodily harm as her colorless vision shows her shades of lust, greed, jealousy, and desire.

The magician's tale

  • David Hunt
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