“A MASTERFUL PLOT AND DEAD-ON PACING.”—Entertainment Weekly
“From its first hip, cynical, snarky, confessional pages, this deftly plotted novel rivets the reader…a must buy.”—Booklist
In a decaying New York slum, a tenant named Victor Cracke has disappeared, leaving behind countless cardboard boxes of strange, original artwork. Gallery owner Ethan Muller can see their brilliance—and their moneymaking potential. Strictly speaking, the drawings don’t belong to Ethan. But great art demands an audience, and before long Ethan’s wildly successful show is being covered by the Times…where it attracts the attention of the police. Because the subjects of the pictures look exactly like the victims in a long-cold murder case. Ethan has received a letter saying stop stop stop. And the still-missing genius may be the link to a madman—or the madman himself…
Greed gets Ethan Muller, a 33-year-old Manhattan art dealer, into hot water in Kellerman's superb third stand-alone thriller (after Trouble). When reclusive artist Victor Cracke disappears, Muller winds up taking possession of the boxes and boxes of intense, disturbing drawings that Cracke left behind in his shabby Queens apartment. A favorable New York Times article helps fuel lucrative sales at an exhibit of Cracke's drawings at Muller's Chelsea gallery. Soon, though, Muller starts to receive cryptic, vaguely threatening letters. He also hears from a retired NYPD detective, Lee McGrath, who recognizes the face of one of the boys in a Cracke drawing as belonging to the victim of a 40-year-old unsolved murder. That revelation turns Muller into an amateur detective as he attempts to discover how the dead boy's image along with those of several other victims made its way into the pictures. Kellerman has a gift for creating compelling characters as well as for crafting an ingenious plot that grabs the reader and refuses to let go. Author tour.
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Jesse Kellerman, Genius.
As a voracious reader and a woman who has long enjoyed the novels of both Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, I remember my initial feeling of surprise upon seeing Jesse Kellerman's name in print. Having gone to a Borders store to see if any of my favorite authors had published new novels (and thus spare me the torture of being without my only reliable and constant friends since my childhood) I saw the younger Kellerman's first novel. It sat on the shelf, near his parents work, all of which I had consumed. The plot summary sounded interssting, but there was no way, I imagined, that he could match, or surpass, the work of his parents. Was I ever wrong. Since then, I have read all his novels, one by one. This book is as amazing as his first, however, I must admit, The Golem series is my new favorite. If you admire the nuanced style of writing which is captured by few novelists....King, Koontz or John Connelly, you will fall deeply in love with the mind of the younger Kellerman. The ability to provoke, agitate, inspire anger, sympathy, joy, and love toward fictional people who, prior to their being given a home inside a book's front and back cover (or now, in electronic media) is a talent gifted to few authors. I was moved to tears (for the first and last time in this particular novel) while reading the last word, actually, one word question. The only other novelists who have created such a range of deeply felt emotion, not just the inner but still silent screams created by panic, fear and rage I feel while silently witnessing the abuse or contempt for the innocent and weak among us, but also the feelings of joy which can be made so intense as to make this reader cry physical tears, whether through words which relay the inhuman acts we, as a species, are capable of committing to one another, the love which is felt and which continues to make a character better or reduces them to to an imbittered condition only resembling their former selves upon its loss, are Dean Koontz, Stephen King and again, John Connelly (I'm sure there are others, but those come to mind). Jesse Kellerman is a name which many readers, and along with them myself, will now be forever included in that pantheon of writers whose legacy will surely be immortalized within the hallowed lists of those who were able, in their lives and characters, attain and record as examples for all future readers, which traits we should aspire to as members of the human race. They are as much artists, and as noble as any other individual could ever be. I thank them for turning readers like myself, into empathetic and compassionate people, who were better able to grow and mature through their works of profound beauty. I would not be the person I am often told I am, nor have raised the children I have without the characters which have shaped my view of right and wrong, and the pain and suffering which had been created by humanity, as well as one person's ability to stop it, or at the very least, leave this world and this life, being known by others as someone who, to put it simply, strives to treat everyone the way they wished to be treated.