Today I am excited to be sharing my review of Still Lives as part of the blog tour! This is the latest novel by Maria Hummel, and it is a book I had seen a lot of on social media. I was also intrigued to see this was one of Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks, so it was one I was excited to delve into…
The premise of this story was one that caught my attention, as it concerns the disappearance of an artist on an evening in which all eyes were waiting for her. Kim Lord is a revered artist who is preparing to unveil what is perhaps her most shocking exhibition yet. The work, titled ‘Still Lives’ is a series of twelve self portraits in which Lord recreates the horrific deaths of some of America’s most famous female homicide victims. The grisly portraits capture the murders in all their grim and terrifying detail, and there is a buzz around the gallery at L.A.’s Rocque Museum, as attendees await the arrival of the artist. But when she fails to make an appearance there is a sense of unease, as it dawns on the crowd that something is amiss. And amongst those waiting is Maggie Richter, the museum director whose attitude towards the artist is impacted somewhat by the fact that Kim’s boyfriend Greg is her ex, with whom Maggie had hoped to start a new life in L.A. with. I was intrigued to see how events would unfold, with suspicion falling on Greg as Kim’s partner. And it is here that Maggie finds herself at the heart of the mystery, as she is drawn into the investigation.
I got into Still Lives really quickly and finished reading it in one morning. I think perhaps the thing that most interested me about this story was the connection to art. I was keen to find out what happened to Kim Lord, and whether it would turn out to be a case of life imitating art, and whether the artist would meet the same fate as that depicted in her paintings. I was also invested in the changing relationship between Maggie and Greg, and there is plenty of detail in this story about their relationship trough the years. With her former lover a key suspect Maggie digs deeper to get to the bottom of the mystery, and to establish Greg’s innocence. But as she delves further, she begins to uncover more dark and deadly secrets, and the true complexity of the case begins to unfold. This was a book that kept my attention, as a crime mystery set in the world of art. There is some fascinating insight into the art scene and the workings of the museum along the way, as we begin to piece together the mystery surrounding Kim’s disappearance, and who may have something to hide.
Still Lives is an enjoyable mystery with an intriguing setting that had me hooked. It is to be published on 15th November 2018 by Quercus with thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review!