The Bullet Trick, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When down-at-heel Glasgow conjurer William Wilson gets booked for a string of cabaret gigs in Berlin, he's hoping his luck's on the turn.

There were certain spectators from his last show who he'd rather forget.

Like the one who's now a corpse. Amongst the showgirls and tricksters of Berlin's scandalous underground Wilson can abandon his heart, his head and, more importantly, his past.

But secrets have a habit of catching up with him and, as he gets sucked into certain lucrative after-hours work, the line between what's an act and what's real starts to blur.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781841958903

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A difficult review after the expectations set by The Cutting Room, Welsh's previous full-length novel.Fluently and well written, with no descriptive passages that felt overlong.Unfortunately this feels like a retreading of much old ground in Glasgow, with the new locations of London and Berlin not being as fully realised and believable.The main character of William Wilson is a pale version of the more complex Rilke from The Cutting Room.I did enjoy the background of magic and illusions (which reminded me of Carter beats the Devil).But the plot felt too contrived and I did not care for the characters, in fact I had difficulty motivating myself to finish the book!I very much hope that Welsh's next book, an extract of which (The Night Highway) is included in short story collection Ox-Tales:Air, recaptures the seedy but captivating atmosphere of The Cutting Room.