Tuesday, 2 February 2021

The Art of Death by David Fennell @DavyFennell #TheArtOfDeath @ZaffreBooks @ElStammeijer #BookReview

 


Death is an art, and he is the master . . .

Three glass cabinets appear in London's Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous - an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn't know is that the killer is watching their every move - and he has his sights firmly set on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

The Art of Death by David Fennell is published on 4 February 2021, in hardback, by Zaffre.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

Despite having over 400 pages, I absolutely flew through The Art of Death. It's a compelling, tense and intriguing thriller with such a twisted premise and populated with a cast of well formed characters. 

Set in central London, the story opens as a mysterious figure enters a small cafe. It is clear that this guy wants more than a cup of artisan coffee. He's on a mission, his mind is cluttered with artistic and creative ideas and just like most artists, he finds the subjects for his masterpieces in everyday life. However, this is no ordinary artist. He's cold-blooded, very intelligent and determined killer. Not only will he kill for his art, he will ensure that the residents of London, and the world beyond experiences it too.

The first installation appears in Trafalgar Square, early one morning. Three large glass cabinets containing the body of a homeless man in each one. This is just the beginning of the work of the artist who will be known as @nonymous. 

Detective Grace Archer heads up the investigation. She's new in the job, and is well known within the Charing Cross Police Station due to her previous work at another station. Most of her team regard her with suspicion, some really hate her, but her sidekick and partner on the investigation, DS Harry Quinn has her back. 

This is an incredible pairing of two extremely well thought out characters. Both are flawed, both have tragedy in their past and both struggle to deal with their issues. However, they are both determined to crack this case, often putting themselves in danger in order to get their man.

As @nonymous unveils more of his works across London, the pressure on Archer and Quinn increases. Archer finds herself linked more closely to the case than she had expected, which only leads to more difficulties for her and the team. 

The Art of Death is a chilling, creepy and tense thriller. I adored the London setting; I miss visiting St Martin's Lane and other central points in the city and enjoyed the familiarity of these settings. 

At times it is really unsettling; the murderous art installations are so well described and the author gives enough back story of each victim to allow the reader to become really invested in them. It's extremely relevant and up-to-date, with the power and danger that is Social Media platforms playing a central role to the ease in which the victims are snared. 

Great storytelling with a killer who is superbly drawn. Totally gripping, twisty, dark and layered. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this talented and imaginative author. 


David Fennell was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for London at the age of eighteen
with 
£50 in one pocket and a dog-eared copy of Stephen King's The Stand in the other. 
He jobbed as a chef, waiter and bartender for several years before starting a career in writing for the software industry. 
He has been working in CyberSecurity for fourteen years and is a fierce advocate for information privacy. 
David has played rugby for Brighton and has studied Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. 

He is married and he and his partner split their time between Central London and Brighton.


To find out more, visit his website: www.davidfennell.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @davyfennell











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