The Brutal Art – Jesse Kellerman

I didn’t know at first if I should pop a review of this book up on the blog after I read it this weekend for the other blog but then I thought ‘oh stuff it’ and after I have sold you the story I shall explain why…

After a rocky childhood and turbulent teenage years and twenties Ethan Muller has slowly but surely become on of the most popular art dealers on the scene. When he gets a call from his fathers right hand man telling him there is a collection of art her really needs to see his instant reaction, after his bitter relations with his father, make him hesitant. When he sees the collection however he realises he could have found the discovery of a lifetime, only when he accepts the works do the police want to talk to him and the mystery of the vanishing artist who created them draws him into a mystery set to change his life forever.

Jesse Kellerman is not an author I had heard of before. The son of authors Faye and John Kellerman he comes from a fine heritage (I haven’t read their works am only going on what others have said) but I think this book will definitely make his name as an author stand out alone. I didn’t think I would be interested in the art world and thought this might be a poor version of a mix of The Da Vinci Code of The Interpretation of Murder. It isn’t it’s a stand out thriller that had me swiftly turning through the pages and I thought I had it all sussed and suddenly a massive twist was thrown in I don’t think anyone could predict coming.

My favourite parts of the book however weren’t set in the present. They were set in the from 1847 until now telling us the secret family history of the Muller’s and helped make the conclusion incredibly clever. Kellerman delivers all this in a direct yet colourful prose whilst making it easy to follow the complicated history that all ties up in the end. I was worried that Ethan’s ‘poor little unloved rich kid character’ might grate on me but I didn’t. His love interests are incredibly clichéd, it was the character of the artist as you got to learn about it I found fascinating.

So why has this ended on The Great Gay Reads blog? Well its not ‘gay fiction’ and wont be in the Gay Fiction section in many of big publishers however there is (as there are in a few books I shall be exploring on this journey) a gay underlying current. Part of which raises the question of being gay as genetics or as being things that happen in your childhood. I cant actually say too much more as it would ruin the book which nothing should be given away from. It did really make me think though and I wasn’t expecting the aforementioned questions from a Richard & Judy Book Club choice novel or indeed from this thriller when I saw it anyway, but it did! A must read!

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~ by greatgayreads on April 8, 2009.

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