The relative calm of Sparta, New York, is broken by the arrival of an androgynous' amateur magician, Dean Lily. The enigmatic newcomer's tricks, however, aren't limited to the sleights of hand he practices at the local bar. He deftly uses his considerable charms on the town's populace, offering a nearly unimaginable answer to the age-old conundrum; What do women really want? Dean's elaborate seductions are met with little resistance. The women Dean sets his sights on are incapable of recognizing him for who and what he really is. From Chrissie, a part-time nurse's aide who offers Dean shelter, to Terry, a single mother who offers Dean a good deal more, to Melanie, an idle former prom queen whose beauty sparks a jealous rage, Dean cuts a swath through the female citizenry of the town. But some in Sparta are suspicious of Dean's mysterious identity and passion for trickery. While he cures Sparta of its midwinter ennui, he also unleashes a destructive element frozen under the surface of the town that even he cannot control. 'The Illusionist' is a haunting, fiercely erotic novel that thwarts conventions of gender and love.