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Picture of Evil

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  541 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
From the chateau country of France to the upper-class enclaves of Connecticut come Cordelia and her brother Maurice. Rich, elegant, and sophisticated, their sensual beauty is irresistible. Until it's too late. The hunger is hideous. The price is blood-drenched horror. The only hope: destroy the painted canvas from which the Grays draw their unnatural strength. That canvas ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 1985 by Tor Books (first published 1985)
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The Pariah by Graham MastertonThe House That Jack Built by Graham MastertonMirror by Graham MastertonA Terrible Beauty by Graham MastertonWalkers by Graham Masterton
Graham Masterton's Best
14th out of 76 books — 27 voters
Dracula by Bram StokerThe Exorcist by William Peter BlattySwan Song by Robert McCammonThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Best Horror Novels Not By King or Koontz
399th out of 444 books — 422 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,009)
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Tressa
Jul 07, 2014 Tressa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Another satisfying read from one of Graham Masterton's many offerings. This book about an immortal family of cold, brutal high society misfits who must resort to skinning victims alive to keep living forever contains some chilling anxiety-provoking scenes. Masterton has that special touch where he doesn't hammer you over the head with his horror, but like most British horror writers, can chill you to the bone with a subtle line or scene here and there. This book is full of such passages. This bo ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I have waited all this time but I've finally decided that I can't finish this. It was just too much for me. The graphic details of skinning people alive was too much.

I don't like watching torture horror (Hostel was the last torture horror movie I've watched -- it's been years, I know) and I thought reading would put that gap between myself and the general horror of it. Nope. I don't know why I know that. >.<

This is like Portrait of Dorian Gray, except this a whole family and in order to
...more
Kimberly
Jul 07, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
re-read July 6-7th, 2014.

One of the best Masterton books, in my opinion. Expands on the idea of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, in true Masterton style!
Donovan
Feb 05, 2012 Donovan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a great recreation of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Brief
The first body was found in Europe. She had once been a beautiful young girl, but with exquisite skill someone had carefully teased the skin entirely away from her body, leaving nothing but a flayed and bloody carcass. A full examination of her ruined body reveals an horrific truth: She had been skinned alive. The second blood-raw corpse turned up in New England. Followed soon after by another, this time a victim o
...more
Sara
Jan 03, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Holy moly, what an amazing horror story, i have spent many late nights reading this book not wanting to put it down, enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it for an horror fan :)
Kinksrock
Jan 19, 2016 Kinksrock rated it really liked it
I would place this novel among the four best of Graham Masterton's work that I've read so far (along with The Hell Candidate, House of Bones, and Spirit).

For those new to Masterton, but familiar with Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", you may appreciate Masterton's take on the story. In this version, instead of just one man maintaining his youth while his image grows old in a portrait, it's an entire family, and, rather than the vagueness of the original story as to the decadent activit
...more
M
Apr 02, 2012 M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there was a Book Doctor, this is what she would prescribe: a good dose of old-fashioned horror, reminiscent of the early - and best - works of James Herbert. Okay so you have to suspend disbelief frequently, but isn't that the point of fiction? It's taken me a long time to find this author (given that this book was written in the 80s), but now that I've found him, I will be reading more.

PS. You will need a fairly strong stomach...
Alice Rachel
Jul 28, 2016 Alice Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Horror novels aren't the best written, so the 5 stars here are NOT for the writing style, but only for how good the plot was and how scary the book was. Loved that it was a twist on Dorian Gray. I hated myself for liking Henri in this book. Out of all the psychos, he's the only one I liked.
BooksnPics
Jan 10, 2014 BooksnPics rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amateurs de paranormal et d’horreur soyez les bienvenus.

Un portrait de douze personnages au visage en décomposition, oeuvre de Walter Waldegrave, un peintre anglais de l’époque victorienne passionné d’occultisme, est l’objet de la convoitise de la mystérieuse Cordélia Gray et de sa famille. Vincent Pearson, l’actuel propriétaire du tableau, se voit confronté à de biens étranges phénomènes et ne tardera pas à y voir un lien avec ce tableau…

“Le portrait du Mal” de Graham Masterton nous emmène prin
...more
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Η ιστορία του Ντόριαν Γκρέυ λίγο πιο διαφορετική, σατανική... Λίγο ανατριχιαστική ωμή περιγραφή... αλλά δεν μπορώ να μην βάλω 5 αστεράκια... απλά δεν μπορώ.
Bandit
Nov 12, 2010 Bandit rated it it was amazing
This is a retelling of one of my all time favorite stories (Dorian Gray) by one of my favorite all time writers.I have a different edition.
Maëva Dupré
On m'en a dit grand bien de cet auteur. Et pourtant, j'ai mis du temps à lire. Je trouvais que certains passages étaient longs, que le rythme du livre était loin d'être haletant. L'histoire était prometteuse, surtout que je me rappelle avoir apprécié le portrait de Dorian Gray, d'Oscar Wilde, quand j'ai du le lire. Mais, je n'ai vraiment pas beaucoup accroché à ce livre et j'ai dû me forcer pour le terminer. J4ai encore un livre de cet auteur, je retenterais, et peut-être me convaincra-t-il cett ...more
Chani
Jun 03, 2010 Chani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
En le lisant, j'ai bien eu confirmation que je l'avais déjà lu ! Certaines scènes m'avaient frappées à l'époque (je pense à "nos petits amis des cimetières" notamment), et m'ont à nouveau mise mal à l'aise...

Concernant le bouquin en lui même, c'est un mélange d'horreur, de glauque, et d'humour noir, le tout habilement relié à une intrigue policière. C'est très bien écrit, prenant, haletant, on a hate de connaitre le pourquoi du comment. Les Gray sont hautains, décadents et détestables à souhait,
...more
George
Sep 05, 2016 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Από Έλληνες και ξένους αναγνώστες πληροφορήθηκα ότι είναι ένα από τα κορυφαία βιβλία του συγγραφέα. Το διάβασα και έμεινα πολύ ευχαριστημένος. Δεν κουράζει και δεν είναι βαρετό σε κανένα σημείο. Μου άρεσαν πάρα πολύ οι τελευταίες 10-15 σελίδες, ήταν σαν να είχα βυθιστεί σε άλλο κόσμο, έναν κόσμο παραμυθιού. Τρόμος στο μάξιμουμ, φαντασία στο μάξιμουμ, αδρεναλίνη στο μάξιμουμ. Ιδανικό βιβλίο.
Michelle
Sep 23, 2016 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved this book!!! I read it years and years ago and lent it out to a friend who loaned it as well meaning I never got it back. I had looked for it for years so I could have a copy back and lucky me, I found it last year. I cannot recommend it enough, it is a great ride....just loved it!
Abigaelle
Mar 30, 2011 Abigaelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
En un mot: décevant.
J'espérais plonger dans un comte horrifique sombre et haletant.
J'ai lu, une histoire fortement inspirée du Portrait de Dorian Gray mais l'auteur n'a pas le talent pour lui rendre hommage.

Les personnages sont plats, seul le héros de l'intrigue est un minimum creusé.
Il nous décrit des passages peu ragoutant, mais je n'ai pas ressentit l'ambiance qui aurait du aller avec et ainsi créer une atmosphère angoissante.

Son écriture.... je me demande parfois comment il peut avoir reçu u
...more
Etienne02breton
Oct 27, 2014 Etienne02breton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un excellent roman d'horreur. Cet auteur est réellement en train de devenir un incontournable dans cette catégorie. Dans une ambiance d'horreur tendue et un peu gore, l'auteur nous amène dans une aventure bien écrite, intense et où l'on se préoccupe du sort des personnages. J'ai adoré!
Katie
Aug 08, 2012 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really good at writing book reviews, so forgive me.
But this was an extremely different book than I thought when I first picked it up.
Yes, I did notice that it was labelled horror, but I've read some classified "horrors"
that didn't seem to be too bad. This one took the cake! It's basically about a family's
desperate attempt at staying forever young, and it's not just the 'typical' way of going about
trying to achieve eternal youth. I won't give too much away - just beware - if
maggots and d
...more
Hayley
Apr 10, 2012 Hayley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently reading all books that have been republished by Hammer and I'm loving it as i've found several new(old) authors.

I read this a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray and this is a great take on the premise of encasing your soul in a picture, of never growing old. When photography first became available it was widely believed a part of your soul was captured!! Though in the case of The Family Portrait, it was an evil incantation that
...more
Geraint griffiths
Brilliant. !

Couldn't put it down .A real page Turner .Graham Masterton never fails to deliver .This was exciting and gruesome in some parts but still wanted to find out what was going to happen next .
Eve Nolon
I don't recommend the audiobook due to William Hope being the most boring narrator I've had the misfortune to listen, but the story is a good, if dated, one.
Barbra
Feb 13, 2010 Barbra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always Graham Masterton delivers for me. I always find his books fast-paced, creepy, sometimes really scary but I have never read a bad one yet.

Back Cover Blurb:
From the chateau country of France to the upper-class enclaves of Connecticut come Cordelia and her brother Maurice. Rich, elegant and sophisticated, their sensual beauty is irresistable.
The hunger is hideous. The price is blood-drenched horror. The only hope: destroy the painted canvas from which the Grays gain their unnatural streng
...more
Elana
Jan 03, 2016 Elana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great characters in this one, and a clever premise.
My Inner Shelf
Mar 18, 2008 My Inner Shelf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mon premier Masterton. Prometteur ! L’histoire, directement inspirée du sublime Portrait de Dorian Gray, d’Oscar Wilde, est cauchemardesque. Masterton fait preuve d’un humour noir tendance glauque, avec un brin d’absurde. Certaines descriptions sont particulièrement gore, mais jamais à outrance, et toujours avec une point d’humour et de décalage. Ce mélange original m’a beaucoup lu, le dénouement complètement surréaliste et l’épilogue sont tout à fait délicieux.
Ruby Ridge
Dec 05, 2015 Ruby Ridge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you read a Graham Masterton book you know what to expect and once again GM delivers
Richard Davis
Jan 11, 2013 Richard Davis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A 'homage' to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', but despite that not one character in the novel even notices. The horror elements start off well, with the fate of a young hitchhicker in France, but from there, I rapidly lost interest. And once the stuff about travelling to different paintings started it was all I could do to finish it. Rambling to say the least.
JackieB
Oct 12, 2012 JackieB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
I thought this was excellent. The characters were well drawn, there was a real sense of menace about it and the plot was paced well. Not so fast you never had time to really think about the scary bits, but not so slow it dragged. I thought the epilgue was stating the obvious, but it didn't spoil the story, so it still gets 5 stars.
Michael Davies
Apr 20, 2015 Michael Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A creepy, but wealthy old money family named Gray, a series of grisly murders with the victims skinned alive, a decaying portrait and a long ago connection between the artist and Oscar Wilde - well you can guess where this is going and if you like your horror raw with a soupcon of the supernatural then you'll love this.
Hairsoftree
Dec 27, 2011 Hairsoftree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Très bon Masterton.
J'ai bien aimé l'ambiance du roman.
Bien sûr beaucoup de clins d'oeils que fait l'auteur au livre "Le Portrait de Dorian Gray" d'Oscar Wilde, d'où il a tiré le nom de la famille Grays.
Bon livre,à conseillé.
Je ne veux pas trop parler de l'histoire pour ne pas révéler de spoilers.
Wayne Noble
Sep 04, 2013 Wayne Noble rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first of Masterton's books I ever read back in the late 80's and I have been hooked Ohio books ever since. This book thrills, disgusts and chills with an engaging and entertaining style, a good book for horror fans.
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Graham Masterton was born in Edinburgh in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless. After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British men's magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles whi ...more
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