This book has some terrific writing, but a storyline that unfortunately does not match up to it.
To be fair, when I started reading this book I was quickly hooked, and felt that it might even become one of my absolute favourites. Unfortunately, the ending felt rushed, was pretty predictable and let down the rest of the story.
Nonetheless, it was a worthwhile read. The main character – and the narrator – is William Wilson, a down-on-his-luck conjuror from Glasgow. Hoping to make his fortune, he takes a job in Berlin and ends up recruiting a mysterious American girl named Sylvie as his assistant. The story flicks back and forth between Berlin and Glasgow, as it slowly reveals the dark events that took place in Berlin, and how they have brought William to his present state of despair. To say much more would be to give too much of the story away. One minor gripe is that there was a seemingly unnecessary sub-plot regarding a decades old disappearance of a lady, which Wilson ends up becoming embroiled in. The loss of this particular storyline would have not affected the book in any way, although it was in itself not an unenjoyable diversion from the main story.