Thursday, December 2, 2021

S. J. Rozan, The Art of Violence


S. J. Rozan, The Art of Violence: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Novel
Copyrigight (C) 2020
Pegasus Crime 
ISBN 9781643135311

As I read this book--which is totally excellent--I had an experience that I have had occasionally.  A little less than half-way through, I said to myself "I know who did it."  Not "I think I know."  But "I know."  Usually, when I have that reaction, I'm wrong.  This time, I was right.  And *knowing* that I knew whodunit made no difference to me in terms of wanting--needing--to get to the end of the book.  

It is set, obviously, in the world of avante garde are in NYC.  Leaving aside Smith and Chin, the principal character is Sam Tabor, a convicted murder (of a young woman) who has made it out of prison to become the darling of the art scene.  Other young women die, in ways that are very similar to the murder for which he was convicted.  He hires Smith to find out if he is guilty.  Complicating things is Tabor's severe ADHD issues.   And, following a gala at the Whitney celebrating Tabor's art, a young woman is killed, who was part of a protest against Tabor's celebrity., in a way very similar to his victim.

From what I know of the NYC art scene (not a lot, but enough), the settings and the characters are remarkably depicted.  And the resolution is worthy of everything that goes before.  Even if you think you know whodunit.  The best mystery I have read this year.

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