Sunday 10 December 2017

Review: Return of the Magi: A heartwarming Christmas story

Return of the Magi: A heartwarming Christmas story Return of the Magi: A heartwarming Christmas story by P.J. Tracy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Emil Rice is a good guy. Really. The fact that he's been arrested for felony twenty two times and was just caught rooting through the nativity scene outside the church... well, that's just a few bad choices, right? He can be a good guy.

Emil certainly behaves as though he believes so: a silver-tongued spindoctor whose eloquence doesn't exactly land him up where he wants, but at least it's not jail. That's got to be better. Right? Right??

To his parole officer's surprise, Emil Rice ends up being posted to do voluntary work at a mental institution. The people seem... sort of normal. Well, maybe not. They have the quirks. None more than Gloria and Edith, who are fascinated by Emil's black skin colour - and he's not really sure they're being racist. They're just plain weird. When he discovers they've been in this institution for the majority of their lives, waiting for a third wiseman to complete their trio, Emil's life takes a turn for the decidedly surreal.

Look, it's not the most brilliant of books written, and not usually a genre I would go for (a little too
'fluffy'), but actually this was a really enjoyable, pacy, non-taxing, festive read. Maybe a little saccharine - but we can let that go, can't we? It's Christmas, after all! The gradual development of Emil's character is fairly believable, surprising as the action takes place over a very short period, and the twist at the end - you knew there was going to be one, just couldn't work out what it was - was lovely.

Not a literary great, but lots of feel-good factor for the Christmas period.

I was given a copy of 'Return of the Magi' from NetGalley and the publisher; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

P J Tracy tends to write in a very different style actually - I checked out her website and discovered that P J Tracy is actually two people (a mother and daughter team) who write collaboratively, which is always interesting. Apparently PJ passed away recently, and I'm unsure whether she was involved in writing this book or not. Most of the her author books are thrillers - go and check out her website if that is more of your thing.

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