Mr. Magic by Jeff Widmer #crime

31451864Brinker’s back. Can the advertising world survive?


Brinker has lost his magic. The agency’s CEO wants him to ace the competition. His former girlfriend wants him in detox. And as rival advertising executives disappear, an ambitious state trooper wants him in jail.
If this keeps up, the PR whiz who turned a serial killer into a national brand may have to vanish himself.


Throw in toxic waste, a nude car wash and a gun-toting presidential candidate and the czar of PR will have to spin some potent magic to escape the snare of sex, lies and greed that threatens to destroy his job, his sanity and the love of his life.


From the author of Mr. Mayhem and the CW McCoy series of crime novels comes Mr. Magic, the second outing for Brinker, the defrocked journalist famous for sex, satire and PR events that push the boundaries of legality and taste.

A lot of this novel felt chaotic to me. Funny, hell yes, and fast paced- definitely, but just slightly chaotic. And I know why- because the characters remained to me faceless and just there.. you know, like a bunch of strangers on a busy city street that you see but dismiss. They just fly by, they’re OK, they’re doing their thing, but you just don’t feel invested enough. This novel is purely around the action and suspense, not so much around character development and I love to get to know me characters on a very deep level. As for the magic? It’s not really magic as in wands and sparkling stardust.. it’s more magic as in- Brinker has some good connections to make people disappear and his brain is full of sarcastic, if somewhat radical ‘marketing’ ideas. That was quite funny!

So, who’s this Brinker guy? Yeah… he’s a bit of a lucky screw-up I think… ex-newspaper reporter, turned PR whiz slash overly ambitious closet-criminal SLASH trying to recover drug addict? Something-something…? Oh yeah, and he appreciates ladies… or ladyparts… while trying to get back together with the love of his life, Carly… What can a man do? He has eyes and women are everywhere… of course he’s going to appreciate.

What’s Brinker up to in this particular novel? Well, I am mighty glad you asked because I should be so thrilled to try and explain the whole shebang that goes down! Truly!

You better buckle up and keep your focus because Brinker:

  • becomes a chess piece in between his two bosses who happen to be married and running the same PR company.. Brinker is tasked to keep an eye on both of them by the request of both of them… The Husband Boss is a cheating, traffic maniac, shady type of character who can’t keep it in his pants and the Wife Boss is plotting acquiring some local businesses. So, the Husband and Wife team are really not a team. They’re trying to out-do one another. Anyway, bankers, funders, whatever, are all included in this thing that I call mayhem corporate world! No surprises there, aye?
  • while being like a dog chasing a ball in between two people, Brinker also needs to keep his job and do some PR campaigns… now… Brinker is one of those people who thinks that bad press is press as well and bad press is what he is really good at so, you know, he hires people to carry off shams for the media coverage. For example- there’s a cement company who are probably poisoning people, the local church and the Good Doctor whose practice specializes in snipping the men. You can only imagine, or not, what kind of shenanigans Brinker comes up with to ‘advertise’ each of these… they’re funny and totally off the mark but seem to be working.
  • has a friend nicknamed Buddha… Buddha is a Korean travel agent? But underneath it all he’s a whiz for … how to put it… influencing people into packing up their shit and moving to Yellowstone. Why get rid of people? Because Brinker’s Wife Boss wants the competition out of the way, yeah? So Brinker hires a third party aka Buddha to deal with it… some of those people get a ride in the car boot, some of those people get their houses blown up, some of those people get ‘talked into’ leaving by some heavy-hitting leverage. There may be a death involved…

Right.. where we at?

OK… of course- sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll

  • all of the above is going on while Brinker is trying (not successfully) to kick his nasty drug habit because otherwise the love of his life Carly will not take him back. Will he manage to pull out the trump card and win Carly back in the midst of a Corporate Pissing Contest? Ha… well, all I’ll say is- Brinker truly is Mr Magic!

I am so on the fence with this book, however… I didn’t really get that invested in the plot because, personally, it felt chaotic yet made sense at the same time? See? Maybe ‘disconnected’ is the word I am looking for…  But at the same time I loved the book because there was some darned funny moments in there. The dialogue was brilliant and that’s the high I was chasing in this novel- the sarcastic, hilarious exchange.

The writing was so fast paced I felt I really had to think .. hard… to pull the parallels in between the characters. However, having finished the book, I can see a clear picture of the plot in my head now. So, in this case, I blame myself, my tiredness and lack of time to truly, really and embrace the whirlwind. 

I have to add- the main character is Brinker and yes, he has his interesting character traits to make him the man of the story, but my favorite from the book is Buddha. An enigma of a guy full of enlightenment and wit while some of his actions can be deemed questionable. Intriguing!

I think to summarize- this is not a novel for the lazy reader. It’s actually quite simple to follow but one’s brain still needs to keep the foot on the gas to keep up.  If you know me enough, you know that I can totally admire the craziness of any book, and I did admire quite a few aspects of this book but it didn’t wow me because I felt a bit overloaded with the pace. My rating: 3 stars- I liked it.

*I received a free copy of the book directly from the author for an honest review*

Amazon UK | USA

12 comments

  1. Not sure on how I feel about this one. Promising? Yes. Sometimes I enjoy reads like this that seem almost chaotic (if that is a fair word?), but I am soooo about character developement. Of it is 330 in the morning here and I had to reread half of this. So let’s be fair 😂 Great review as always 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 hahaha.. yeah, quite a lot happening in this book and I’m all about connecting to the characters as well once I love em or hate em I don’t really care what they get up to but this one was a whirlwind of activities for sure! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a brilliant review! 😀 This sounds great but definitely chaotic! I like my books with the right balance of character development I don’t think my brain would enjoy the ride! Congrats on finishing it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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