* A darkly absorbing, atmospheric thriller of high culture and low morals.
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.
Chilly, clever and gripping by turns. - SUNDAY TIMES
Simply delicious. It stubbornly fails to be pigeon-holed: it is a dark thriller and more... This is an important novel which demands to be read- and heeded. - IRISH EXAMINER
Somoza breathes originality, wit, satire, and suspense into a moribund genre. - GOOD BOOK GUIDE
Wonderfully aberrant ideas about humanity and aesthetics are spun out of this intriguing fiction... Somoza entices us along with shifts in tempo, offbeat aesthetic and pragmatic interrogations by the two detectives, and some crankily comic visions of the f - TLS