In 2006, the art world has moved far beyond sheep in formaldehyde and the most avant-garde movement is to use living people as artwork. Undergoing weeks of preparation to become 'canvases', the models are required to stay in their pose for ten to twelve hours a day and, as art pieces, they are also for sale. After being exhibited, the 'canvases' can be bought and taken to the purchaser's home, where they are rented for weeks or months. Many beautiful young men and women long to become a 'canvas' - knowing they are a masterpeice and worth millions seems to make all the sacrifices worthwhile - especially if they can be 'painted' by the celebrated artist Bruno Van Tysch. But there is a darker side to this art movement when it is found that the models/works of art are sometimes used in interactive works - snuff movies, where the 'art' is filmed being tortured and killed. Van Tysch's work is being targeted and the investigators must find the killer before the displays of imitations of Rembrandt's masterpieces - the biggest exhibition of 'hyperdramatic art' yet seen - is put on show.
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(196mm x 126mm x 28mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
A serial killer terrorizes an unusual art world where people are objects for purchase as well as models. Though his story is set in the summer of 2006, Somoza offers a futuristic premise: Beautiful young girls, and some boys, are made over by famous artists into priceless works, displayed in museums and galleries, and sold to wealthy collectors. Painted sienna and ochre, 14-year-old Annek Hollech stands immobile behind a rope in a Viennese museum as a work called Deflowering, by the Dutch neo-master Bruno van Tysch. Shortly afterward, she's found brutally, perhaps ritualistically murdered in the remote woods. Suspicion falls first upon Oscar D'az, employed by the artist to shepherd the young artwork. Two of Tysch's other employees, the urbane team of Lothar Bosch and April Wood, seem to have more clout than local police and more interest in solving the crime. Their on-and-off investigation is upstaged by the odyssey of Clara Reyes, a slightly older, more experienced version of Annek, who accepts a potentially dangerous booking swathed in secrecy and finds a dangerous underworld of fetishism, torture and sexual slavery indicated by the story's original title of Clara and Shade. Murder and the threat of more provides a pulse of underlying tension, but Somoza (The Athenian Murders, 2001, etc.) elegantly explores larger metaphysical and artistic issues. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Jose Carlos Somoza
Jose Carlos Somoza is a doctor of medicine, and specialist in psychiatry, he has received, amongst others, the Cervantes Theatre Prize, the Cafe Gijon Prize, and in 2000 DAFNE DESVANECIDA was shortlisted for one of the most important Spanish literary prizes, the Nadal Prize