Robert Oliver, a noted artist, is arrested after trying to slash a painting at a Washington, DC gallery. Confined to a psychiatric institution, he refuses to cooperate with his doctor, Andrew Marlow, himself a painter and something of a detective.
A friend recommended this book to me saying it was The. Best. Book. Ever. Well, to each his own. I found it to be frustrating and pointless in the extreme. The author is in love with details and writes endless descriptive passages when just a word or two would do. Her verbiage is so redundant that I could read just one sentence of each paragraph and lose nothing of importance.
The novel is narrated by Marlow and two women he meets while researching Oliver's case, but each person speaks in the same voice and style. Every few pages, the story switches from the present to 19th century France, and a relationship between a beautiful young painter and her much older lover which has limited interest or appeal. The book moves excruciatingly slowly through needless minutiae and culminates in a shockingly dull denouement.
Art lovers will relish the author's obvious passion for painting, but the story fails as a mystery or romance.
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