cover image Shot in Detroit

Shot in Detroit

Patricia Abbott. Polis (PGW, dist.), $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-940610-82-5

Abbott follows her well-received suspense debut, Concrete Angel, with a macabre but perceptive novel set in Detroit. Nearing 40, Violet Hart is not yet successful with her photographic career and has doubts about her talent. She wanders decayed Belle Isle, once a fashionable waterside city park, now crawling with the homeless, the criminal, and the mentally ill. After accepting a commission from her handsome lover, mortician Bill Fontenel, to photograph a young man’s corpse for his grieving relatives, Violet becomes inspired to create a series of images of the dead that she hopes will make her reputation as a serious artist. She enlists Bill’s reluctant help in making a quick deadline for an exhibit of her series. Her need for bodies involves Violet, who’s tormented by personal and professional issues, in a serious police investigation. Some readers may feel that Abbott teeters on the brink of distasteful sensationalism, but she makes some telling points about the sometimes questionable relationship between art and morality. [em](June) [/em]