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Nate Rodriguez is a police sketch artist for the NYPD, and his success rate is high, with one out of three of his drawings leading to an arrest. But when he is faced with an unusually talented killer, he realizes that he may have met his match. For this killer is a man very much like himself–a man who sees and thinks in pictures. A killer who leaves drawings at the crime scenes depicting his murders in chilling, gory–and prescient–detail.
As Nate's portraits become more and more accurate images of the madman–the killer finds a way to steal Nate's portraits and then imitate Nate's own hand. The conflicting evidence leads the police to suspect that Nate himself could be the killer and pushes Nate into a frightening cat and mouse chase for his quarry. Life and death, art and artifice have never been so vividly bound together.
Jonathan Santlofer pushes the boundaries of the thriller to new heights with this masterful blend of art and suspense. With sequential sketches that alternate throughout the text–first the killer's, then Nate's–Santlofer teases us with irresistible clues and psychological details delivered in a highly original way.
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Jonathan Santlofer is the author of five novels and a highly respected artist whose work has been written about and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Arts, and which appears in many public, private, and corporate collections. He lives and works in New York City.From Publishers Weekly:
A clever graphic element enlivens this solid serial-killer novel from Santolofer, a visual artist and author of three previous art-themed thrillers (The Killing Art, etc.). Nate Rodriguez, a talented NYPD police sketch artist, appears to have psychic abilities when it comes to visualizing perpetrators. When Nate sketches portraits, the drawings are reproduced in the text. Nate joins detective Terri Russo on a case in which the killer, a white supremacist who takes his deadly orders directly from God, leaves his own drawings at the crime scenes (also reproduced). Nate turns to his Puerto Rican grandmother, a santera ("a sort of neighborhood priestess"), for help. Together, they come up with drawings that point to a suspect closer to home than any of them have imagined. Plot devices include a trail of red herring clues that threaten to implicate Nate, overbearing FBI agents and a female-in-peril chase scene at the end, while the romantic relationship that develops between Nate and Terri leaves room for more to come. (Apr.)
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