Books Like The Prestige
Long before Christopher Nolan directed the psychological thriller, The Prestige was a novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. The tale, which is set at the end of the 19th century, features two rival stage magicians who are obsessed with outdoing each other. The novel mixes magic and mystery for a gripping story that is filled with twists and turns. It also contains plenty of Neo-gothic elements to keep readers on the edge of their seats. If you enjoyed the story and would like to read more tales of illusion, magic, and sleight of hand, then check out these following books like The Prestige.
by Caroline Stevermer
Readers who enjoyed the more supernatural elements of The Prestige will also like The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer. It is the tale of a stage magician, named Thalia Cutler, who has a knack for dazzling her audiences. However, her life changes one night when one of her tricks goes terribly wrong. Thalia not only survives the incident but also discovers in the process that she has the ability to shape-shift. This opens up a whole new world for Thalia as she realizes that she could take her place among the rich and powerful who are running New York of 1905. Unfortunately, this newfound power could also come at a terrible price as there are beings who prey on those who are capable of real magic.
by Clayton Rawson
Death From A Top hat by Clayton Rawson is the first novel to introduce the Great Merlini, an illusionist and amateur sleuth. The book was first published in 1938 and is still considered by many readers to be one of the all-time great locked-room mysteries. Rawson was not just a writer, but also an amateur magician, which allowed him to draw on his knowledge of stage magic. Death From A Top Hat calls upon the Great Merlini to help the police uncover how a magician was killed inside his locked and sealed apartment. It's an impossible crime, but all of the suspects have a knack for accomplishing the impossible in their stage acts. Like The Prestige, Death From A Top Hat was also adapted for a film, although the complex plot was simplified for moviegoers.
by Stuart M. Kaminsky
Now You See It by Stuart M. Kaminsky is the final book in his The Toby Peters Mysteries series. In this tale, the master illusionist, Harry Blackstone, faces demands from an anonymous rival to reveal his secrets on stage under the threat of death. This prompts the magician to hire Toby Peters and his brother, who is an ex-cop, to run security for his show. The job turns out to be a little more complicated than what Peters expected when he has to fill in for a showgirl during one of the tricks that involve sawing a woman in half. The twists and turns continue when Blackstone goes from victim to suspect as blackmailing con men and competitors turn up dead.
by Kristy Cambron
The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron is set in Boston of 1926 and stars Jenny "Wren" Lockhart, Harry Houdini's one-time apprentice. Wren is eccentric, even by vaudevillian standards, but she is not intimidated living in a world that challenges all manner of conventions. In a strange twist of fate, Wren finds herself being drawn into a murder investigation involving a man named Horace Stapleton. Although he was one of her teacher's greatest critics Wren ends up trying to prove his innocence. It is a race against time and an unknown enemy, but Wren is not alone as the newly formed FBI also becomes involved.
by Glen Gold
Just like The Prestige, Carter Beats The Devil by Glen Gold is a novel that is full of magic and misdirection. It was Gold's debut novel and stars Charles Carter, who was a real-life stage magician who went by the name Carter the Great. In this highly fictionalized account of his life, Carter uses President Warren G. Harding as a volunteer for one of his more grisly tricks. The trick is a success, but when the president dies shortly afterward under mysterious circumstances Carter is forced to flee the country, or so it seems. Carter must use his wits and guile to stay ahead of his adversaries in a story that is filled with a unique cast of characters. There were talks of Tom Cruise producing a film adaptation and starring in it, but nothing has happened since Paramount purchased the rights in 2002.
by Martyn Bedford
The Houdini Girl is the second novel by British author Martyn Bedford. The protagonist, Fletcher "Red" Brandon, is a professional magician who falls in love with Rosa Kelly, a girl he meets in a bar one night. The story is told in the past and present with Rosa moving in with Red the day after meeting him, but dying in a horrible freak accident less than a year later. Red finds himself digging into Rosa's past himself because of the police investigation surrounding her death. What he finds is that although he is a master of illusion, it would appear that Rosa was just as skilled in the art of deception.
by Jeffery Deaver
The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver is a crime mystery with a title that refers to an illusionist trick that also features prominently in The Prestige. The story itself is about a serial killer who uses illusionist tricks as the inspiration for his killings. The police are baffled by his methods, so they bring in a forensic expert named Lincoln Rhyme and his longtime partner Amelia Sachs. The pair find themselves up against a master illusionist whose methods become increasingly diabolical with each of his kills.