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No Trace by Barry Maitland
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Feb 01, 09

bookshelves: fiction-crime-detection
Read in February, 2009

Maitland, Barry. NO TRACE: A Brock and Kolla Mystery. (2004; U.S. – 2006). ****. I’m slowly running out of books to read by this author, and should probably put myself on some sort of ration system. The problem is, however, that he writes such devilishly clever books that once you start them you can’t put them down. “In a London neighborhood known for its artists and bohemian nature, six-year-old Tracey Rudd is abducted from her home without any warning or sign of violence. She is the third girl abducted under similar circumstances in recent weeks. But this case is different. She is the daughter of notorious contemporary artist Gabriel Rudd, best known for the grotesque “Night Mare,” a work centered around his wife’s suicide five years earlier. Tracey’s grandparents accused the artist of being responsible for their daughter’s suicide then and they are quick to hint at his complicity in own daughter’s disappearance now. While Rudd exploits Tracey’s abduction as an inspiration for a major and controversial new work in his upcoming exhibit, the media is in a feeding frenzy over the artist, the disappearances, and the investigation. Under difficult conditions and with a crime scene yielding no useful clues or leads, Chief Inspector David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla have little time to unravel the case before the kidnapper disappears forever into this eccentric neighborhood of artists, dealers, and collectors.” The author manages to inject a lot about modern art and its dependence on past artistic works into this story, and the reader is exposed to a variety of painters and their subjects that will round off his knowledge of art history. Recommended.
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