- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (Aug. 26 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060004428
- ISBN-13: 978-0060004422
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,564,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Death Artist Mass Market Paperback – Aug 26 2003
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“A crime novel that is savage and erudite, layered in wit, satire and psychosis--in short, a chilling read.” (USA Today)
“Brisk....suspenseful....clever.” (Washington Post Book World)
“A rollercoaster. . .shows a sure sense of pace and an engaging literary style.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Keep[s] readers guessing all the way up to the conclusion.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Intriguing.” (St. Petersburg Times)
“A very original look at murder...a smart and sophisticated thriller.” (Nelson DeMille)
“THE DEATH ARTIST is a fast, fun read.” (Phillip M. Margolin)
“THE DEATH ARTIST is stylish, scary and very, very smart. Jonathan Santlofer’s thriller really thrills.” (Susan Isaacs)
“An art history lesson from the dark side.” (Marcia Tucker, Founding Director Emerita New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY)
“Spellbinding, sexy and savage.” (Judd Tully, editor-at-large, Art and Auction Magazine)
About the Author
Jonathan Santlofer is the author of five novels and a highly respected artist whose work has been written about and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Arts, and which appears in many public, private, and corporate collections. He lives and works in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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Kate McKinnon is an ex-cop who has become a famous art historian by hosting her own PBS series. People close to her begin to die. They are murdered and their bodies are arranged similar to famous paintings. Kate, a friend of the NYPD chief of police, is allowed to participate with the police in helping them crack this tough case. As she investigates, it soon becomes apparent that the killer is targeting her.
Kate is an interesting protagonist and one the reader would like to meet. However, she appears a bit too tailor made for the role she plays. How many leave the police force to become famous art historians? I had a lot of trouble buying into this concept. However, once the reader accepts this, it is noted that she is very well created. The other characters are a mixed bunch-- some are sketchily developed and others are quite stereotypic. As noted previously, the killings lack originality in their very nature of trying to be unique. The plot races along quite nicely to the less than satisfactory conclusion. The killer is a character I did not remember meeting previously. In a sense, this is cheating. The bottom line, a less than spectacular effort in a book lacking originality and a bit too long.
This thriller isn't perfekt but I challenge fellow reviewers to show me a perfekt thiller and I'll ask yes but can you show me a perfect one? It is close enough for me especially considering what a strong first effort it is by the author and I eagerly await some mover and shaker in Hollywood to buy the movie rights to this book as it seems almost too adaptable to the big screen, so I recommend you read this book, but careful to massage your knuckles once in a while to prevent whiteness as you peruse this page turner.
The reality is this: Kate McKinnon, a renowned art expert and television luminary of sorts, finds herself drawn into a series of ritualistic murders by someone who seems to have specifically targeted her, her celebrity, and her past. A former detective with the NYPD, Kate is more than familiar with the type of criminal who seems to be pursuing her and taunting her, first with the brutal murder of a young girl she had personally mentored for many years, and then with a string of murders fashioned to give the illusion of paintings by the masters, with victims connected to the city's art scene. It is Kate's job to take the clues the egotistical murderer sends her, weed through the possible suspects (curators, artists, and relations alike) and try to stop the Death Artist before he completes his next piece and, ultimately, before he shares with her his masterpiece. As if the murders themselves were not intriguing enough, Santlofer further tantalizes us with underlying stories of an amateur pornography ring, illegal art dealings, and unimaginable relationships.
Remarkably, this is Santlofer's first piece of fiction. Why remarkable? Because Santlofer writes with the flair and technique of a seasoned thriller author. His plot is tight, his characters engaging and likable (or dislikable, if that's his intention), his murders and ensuing mystery unique, his diversions convincingly distracting, and his climax surprising --- and satisfying. This is a whodunit of the highest caliber. THE DEATH ARTIST has all of the elements of some of the best classic thrillers and bodes well for a long career in storytelling. Here's hoping Santlofer will give the pen and the paintbrush equal time in the future.
--- Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
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