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Trick of the Eye Paperback – Bargain Price, July 2, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A tautly controlled narrative voice and a prose style that transcends genre key the action in this gothic thriller about a successful trompe l'oeil artist commissioned to work at a grand old estate on the North Shore of Long Island.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Wealthy New York society matron and patron of the arts Frances Griffin commissions Faith Crowell, a 39-year-old trompe l'oeil artist, to paint the interior of her ballroom, built 20 years earlier for the debutante cotillion of her now-deceased daughter, Cassandra. During this assignment, Faith learns that Cassandra's murder remains unsolved, and Mrs. Griffin seems to know more about it than she is telling. Intrigued with the mystery and possible cover-up, Faith digs beneath the surface and uncovers the extraordinary, evil truth dividing appearance from reality. First novelist Hitchcock's material borders on the melodramatic, and her plot borders on the unlikely, but her writing commands attention. Recommended for lovers of suspense and Gothic novels.
- Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (July 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786888474
  • ASIN: B00127QAS6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,583,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on January 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jane Stanton Hitchcock's first mystery Trick of the Eye was a wonderful discovery. Her writing is fresh and descriptive and in the imagination department her cup runeth over.
The plot, while seemly simple, is filled with elegant twists and turns. This is the story about an artist who paint's trompe l'oeils (paintings that are made to look as if they are real - a 3-d image that tricks the idea into believing it exists)and is called upon by a wealthy, eccentric woman to recreate her now deceased daughter's coming out ball upon the walls of the ballroom where the party was held.
She brings her up to her estate and keeps her there while she is working on the piece and entertains her with stories from the past. The artist becomes enmeshed when she discovers she is the spitting image of the woman's dead daughter and tries to discover who killed her.
All in all a wonderfully woven tapestry of characters, writing, plot and images.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. W. Miller on July 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book a few years ago and I continue to recommend it as a first rate thriller. The premise, a wealthy woman manipulating an artist for her twisted purposes, is clever and memorable. The characters and the prose are compelling. I only wish there was more work by this talented writer! There are few books I have read that have made such a lasting impression. This is a definite "must read". If you've stumbled across this review, it's a sign, buy this book you won't be disappointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liz Gray on April 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book first appealled to me, an almost old woman, since the main character, Faith, is no longer young. Well written descriptions of Faith's changing perception draw one into the mystery. The solution and the ending are tart,yet satisfying. On a deeper level,it serves as a grim reminder that your life is what you choose to make of it. Read the dedication after you finish the novel. I hope to read more from this writer, & would like to know more about her.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Lloyd on October 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The story is interesting, the characters felt real, and the descriptions are amazing. I love Jane Stanton Hitchcock's work, and of all of her books, this one is my favorite. I flew through this book and was very sad to see it end. This is a book everyone should read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By maskirovka VINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Trick of the Eye' is a truly compelling book. It kept me up until 2am on a week night (I overslept and was late for work the next day!) so I could finish it and find out what would happen to its protagonist, Faith Crowell, and what secrets she would discover about her patron Frances Holt Griffin.

I happened to read 'Trick of the Eye' because I recently saw again the movie that was made out of it some years ago. Meg Tilly played the role of Faith and Ellen Burstyn played that of Frances. I've always found Meg Tilly fascinating (a combination of beauty, sexiness, sweetness, and mystery that is all-too-rare in Hollywood these days; the fact that she only made one more film after this before retiring is a great pity).

Anyway, I noticed that the movie was based on a novel, and I decided to read it. I thought that as a guy, I might find it to be too much an example of "chick lit." But it wasn't. It was an engrossing tale of psychological suspense, obsession, and art. It kept me guessing about the outcome to the very end. It is also a much better book than the movie, which benefited greatly from Tilly and Burstyn's performances but suffered from the plot being severely abridged).

'Trick of the Eye' is beautifully written in simple, clear, and evocative prose that sets mood and tone perfectly. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I think Faith is a sympathetic character. I also think that the charges of it not being realistic are specious. Is it unlikely that something like the story might unfold in real life? Yes, but sometimes fact is stranger than fiction (and one can only wonder if the author drew on experiences of her own or those of close friends to create the plot).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The heroine gets sucked into finding out the truth about matters. Everything has the ring of suspense. Will she cross the line of decency and do the wrong thing in appeasing her curiosity? The customer who gave a bad review simply doesn't like mysteries. Yes, it is exaggerated, but masterfully so, because integrity is in question. Is Faith worthy of the challenge? There is perhaps only one other writer that matches or excels Stanton Hitchcock in this genre that I have read, and that would be Daphne DaMaurier. The bathroom scene heightened the psychology that Faith was somehow related to the dead daughter of the old dame, making the wall of mirrors there a sort of truth or consequence moment. The effect was chilling. I gave it four stars, because the ending frustrated this sense that something deeper was going to be revealed here than just an old dame playing tricks with her power of wealth. The absolute evil of the benefactor and the quality of the work of art that is finally destroyed provides the tension with the goodness of the artist and her resolve not to be eaten alive. It was excellent writing regardless of the bittersweet ending. One would prefer not to have such a black and white judgment, but that would contradict the intended emphasis: Faith is the kind of person that you would like to know because of her wonderful maturation through the trials that she is put through, but that cannot destroy her threathened sense of self, and spending a few hours with this novel is a great way to do so. She is the prey and the underdog, but she achieves the victory that we all hunger for in life and art: to know the truth, to have lived well, and to have loved despite the lack of love in return. Few novels achieve such a personal grand de force as this one exemplifies. Each page is a treasure of fine writing!
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