Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Death Artist by Jonathan Santlofer

I met Mr. Santlofer* at a mystery convention in Texas earlier this year - ConMisterio. It was a great convention and Jonathan was a very provocative speaker. With mild manner, he explained scenes in his first novel that involved cutting hands off of living victims. The hands get discarded, but what happens to the stumps...well, read the book. I did.

The Death Artist is a strong debut in a series that I hope to continue reading in as soon as I'm done with (mountains and mountains of) student papers. In it, bold and beautiful Kate McKinnon, statuesque, former NYPD, current millionaire's wife and Ph.D. in Art History (don't you want to meet her already?) gets called to duty when some freak starts killing her friends and acquaintances in ways that mirror paintings by the great masters. (Not Jackson Pollock, however. Strange that. That's the first one I'd go for if I were of a mind to the style of the great Art Masters...)

In any event, will she figure out whodunit before the killer covers all the greats? Of course. But will she kick his ass, literally, in a brawl at night in the rain? Sorry, different book. Now, I think there was one pas that was faux when it came to police procedures. I won't mention it because a- I could be wrong and b- I don't think I've seen it mentioned elsewhere and I wouldn't want anyone to think it will ruin the pleasure of reading this book. It most definitely won't. I enjoyed it and plan to dive into another Santlofer book soon. In fact, I've heard that now his books come with pictures. Can't wait.

In the meantime, I've asked him whether he really introduces readers to the Art scene, and the answer is a vigourous Yes. Santlofer, you see, is a real live artist - a painter who gets his paitings into galleries and shows and exhibits, etc. Fascinating to me, then, to read what he has to say about the art world, a world I'm pretty much shut out of as there has been no revival of stick figure drawing.

* By the way, even if you're not a fan of Santlofer's writing (yet) you can certainly go to his site and appreciate his artwork. Free.


Blogger Joseph F Mazzaferro said...

I also write mysterys and have my own blog

May 16, 2007 5:26 PM  

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