Set amid the underworlds of Montreal and New Orleans in the 1920's and 30's, Houdini's Shadow is a dark and poetic tale of desire and decadence, obsession and betrayal.
As a boy, Jake O’Sullivan witnessed a miraculous underwater escape by Harry Houdini. This childhood encounter escalates into a life-long obsession with the great escapologist. But Jake’s dreams of following in his hero’s footsteps are endangered when he becomes entangled in a criminal plot that threatens everything he has worked for. A mysterious woman called Lulu offers a way out, but she, too, is driven by deeper motives, and might ultimately prove to be the weight that pulls him under.
"Robillard is a confident storyteller, with an eye for detail and a cinematic approach to scene-setting. The novel's portrayal of Montreal subculture is compelling and vivid, right down to the back alleys, seedy nightclubs and shady characters."
-- Winnipeg Free Press
"Houdini's Shadow reads with real grace and power. Robillard, clearly a gifted storyteller, can at times make you wonder, with that old magician's dazzle, "Just how did he do that?""
-- Globe & Mail
"Houdini’s Shadow is a fast, compact, noir-ish novel that proves its own contention that 'There is always chance for redemption, an opportunity to push back shadow, but it becomes more difficult with . . . each chance you let slip through your fingers.' An old story—the only kind there is—told in a fresh way."
-- Steven Heighton
"With deftly-drawn characters and a plot that appears and disappears intriguingly, Robillard has performed a masterful sleight of hand."
-- Mark Frutkin
Leo Brent Robillard is an author and an educator. His work has appeared in various magazines, journals, and anthologies in Canada and abroad. He is a past recipient of the George Johnston Poetry Prize, the Ray Burell Award for Poetry and the Cold Steel Crime and Mystery Award. He is the author of three Turnstone Press novels, Leaving Wyoming, Houdini’s Shadow, and Drift. He lives, teaches, and writes in Ontario.