Thursday, May 20, 2021

#29: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

 A failing art museum is pinning its hopes on a challenging art show featuring paintings of murdered LA women; but when the artist disappears on the night of the opening, the stakes become even higher in Maria Hummel's Still Lives.

Hummel writes a highly literary thriller that is as much a searing indictment on the California art scene as it is a mystery.  In fact, our protagonist--a writer/editor at the museum with a background in investigative journalism, which she left after a traumatic experience--doesn't really knuckle down and get into finding the artist until about halfway through.

Hummel's background seems to be literary fiction, and she is a professor of English, but even though there are highly interesting characters and relationships and vivid writing,  it is in the end just a crackling good thriller.  It's rare that I have trouble putting a book down, but the last fifty pages or so had me locked in.

I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it readily.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana, and read it very quickly.

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