The Genius

Jesse Kellerman, Author . Putnam $24.95 (374p) ISBN 978-0-399-15459-1

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. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/25/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Hardcover - 518 pages - 978-1-60285-180-1
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