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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 21 star ratings
2 reviews
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Overall rating

3.5 out of 5
21
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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    Layers Of Meaning

    I read this book quite a while after purchasing it and couldn't remember anything about the blurb so when I started reading and was immediately thrown in to The Rocque Art Museum my heart did a little sink. Especially as we got in to the description of Kim Lord's exhibition I genuinely thought that I was going to be swamped in Arty language, flowery descriptions and a Feminist Diatribe loosely covered up as a Thriller. Fortunately, my initial knee-jerk prejudices were soon swamped by an intelligently written work and by the second chapter I was absorbed and thoroughly on board with wherever the author wished to take me. This would be a great read for a Book Club as there is a lot that can be dissected here. The Kim Lord Exhibition itself has a lot of scope with it's portrayal of the artist as victim of real life violent crimes against women. The author manages to treat these crimes with a blood splattered matter-of-factness that both highlights the atrocity and yet reduces it to the artists canvas. Then you have the various relationships that our protagonist, Maggie, has. Her overprotective mother, failed love, friendship and work acquaintances all blend well on the page and Ms Hummel manages to show how multi-faceted and compartmentalised the Human Animal really is without beating you round the head with it. I would suggest that if you do have a Book Club that you prepare for a late night discussing this one - you will find A LOT to talk about. If you just take everything at face value and don't think about all the different things we are being told about what it is to be a woman, both historically and contemporaneously, then this is still a cracking good read. When Ms Lord seems to have missed her opening party I felt sure that when the guests entered the final room of the exhibition where the Still Life was displayed that her corpse would be displayed there. All through the many chapters leading to that point I was more and more convinced that would be the case - was it? Well, read the book to find out (you really thought I was going to insert a sneaky spoiler didn't you?) The pacing is perfect and Maggie genuinely comes alive on the page. It is refreshing to have a main character that is so genuinely human - with all the nasty and nice bits that make up a real personality. Yes, she can be infuriating and her still clinging to her past relationship with Greg drove me slightly potty (in all fairness I think Maggie hated herself for being so enraptured with him, so it balanced out). Mainly she is just trying her best to get through each day, staggering through like most of us with no clue how she managed to see another 24 hours off. Great characterisation, good plot but with a couple of crevasses that lost it a star. Not recommended for reading when you have a deadline to be somewhere because you will be late; the temptation for "just one more chapter" is too great.
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    An artistic slant on a crime novel, a very interes

    This was an unusual book, unlike any others I've previously enjoyed, but I must admit I did enjoy it too despite the focus on violence that has previously been perpetrated against women. Its focus was well aligned and made for an interesting plot. I didn't find the story to be too predictable for the most part. It was an easy read though, it wasn't too fast paced and it stepped outside the traditional crime detective genre in that we got a glimpse into the life of a copy editor and the art world also. Maggie, the copy editor was a plausible character who I liked. I liked this book. It was different and well researched. I'd recommend it and I give it 4 stars!!
21

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