by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of Beyond the Tempest, along with a link to purchase the book.
Bermuda is an island paradise, but a seventeenth-century shipwreck there was the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Quotes from the Bard’s play are sprinkled through Barry Wiley’s Beyond the Tempest: a sorcerous tale of Bermuda, but his book tells of a different kind of storm – a storm in the mind.
Kaarin Larsson, former physics professor and current professional mentalist, comes to Bermuda to teach and perform, after the memory expert who was booked for a seminar is murdered. Kaarin is going through a crisis, wondering who or what she really is, when she should be concerned about who is trying to kill her. Some of her mentalist performances shock her with moments that could be real, flashes of insight and visions that go beyond the cheats, tricks and near-private-eye investigation techniques to gain information that she can reveal in her shows and seminars.
In her island adventure, Kaarin has to deal with vengeful TV interviewers, blindfolded driving, teaching memory methods, bullets, knives, adulterers, dark tunnels, bankers, police detectives, assassins, illusionists, and a pornography expert. She begins to doubt her humanity when she sees faces that can’t be seen and knows facts she hasn’t been told. What could she be, if she isn’t human? Her beyond-normal experiences and abilities have driven her from the safety of the universities into the world of the showman-shaman, pretending to have mental powers that she might have.
This isn’t a Masked Magician giveaway of magic secrets. You might be able to figure out a few tricks shown on Masters of Illusion, but you won’t become an instant fraud-detector. Most of the described methods of trickery involve going through wastebaskets and the internet, and paying hotel staff for juicy tidbits of news. Still, there are moments that go beyond the normal, and that’s what bothers Kaarin. Wiley knows how to provide a plausible background, grounded in a tourist’s guide worth of facts, while seeding it with the possibility of the impossible. There is romance, but no graphic descriptions. Violence is the home of the graphic and clinical, here.
Bermuda is a major character in this book, and a lovely one she is, too. The palm trees, historic sights, and hot spots beckon you. Read the book. It will save you the airfare.
To enter to win a signed copy of Beyond the Tempest, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tempest,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 16, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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