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The Murder Notebook

(Nate Rodriguez #2)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  39 reviews
“Santlofer’s fluid, almost poetic, writing, coupled with his extraordinary artwork, places him at the forefront of cutting-edge crime fiction.”
Chicago Tribune

Jonathan Santlofer has brilliantly reinvented the crime novel, and he returns with his most gripping and astonishing suspense novel to date: The Murder Notebook. An acclaimed visual artist whose numerous awards inc
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by William Morrow (first published May 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  237 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3stars
this book has really good art in it
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I picked this book up from the library shelf, not knowing anything about it, but intrigued by the cover/title. (I find lots of great new books this way!) I really liked this book, although I believe it is the second in a series--I will have to go back and read the first. (I believe Anatomy of Fear is the first.)

The protagonist is a police sketch artist, and the book is filled with all sorts of "his" sketches. I found that creative point of view truly interesting and found myself not wanting to s
May 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldnt_finish
Every week I get a box or two of books for my library, and some of them make me salivate. The review of this novel made me put it high on my list, but it's actually not that good. The premise is interesting--solving murders with the sketch artist for a police department--but it never gets beyond "eh." I'm 100 pages in and it's not grabbing me.

The illustrations are great, and I could see it developed as a TV show, but I've got too many other books on my desk to continue with this one.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up mainly because of the title. I ran for city council, lost, and wanted something to distract me. On that level it succeeded, but like so many books, it left me bored. Characters were not terribly interesting. What kept me going was that I used to live in NYC's Hell's Kitchen before the realtors got hold of it and turned it into the 'Clinton' neighborhood. I liked the way the author blended realism and fiction. One of the necessities of a good book is that it teaches you some ...more
Jackie Trimble
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My mom got this nearly two decades ago when he came to our local library to promote/sign books. My mom majored in art education in college in the sixties and is drawn to art. She also loves reading, as do I (apple doesn't fall far....). So, I was really impressed with Santlofer, in that he merged two skills to become a successful author. Plus, the story was really good. I was really impressed with the depth of government conspiracy he introduces to the reader. In fact, I was nostalgic of this be ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is very nice and interesting story..
D.R. Ransdell
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Interesting mystery, enhanced with very good drawings. This was an unusual take on the mystery scene, so I appreciated the unusual characters and approach.
Robin Jansen
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of twists and turns. Got off track in places but overall a good read. I will read more by this author.
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads

Reading The Murder Notebook was a very satisfying experience for me. It’s rare that someone does anything truly innovative in writing crime fiction; Jonathan Santlofer has done so by creating something called “a novel of visual suspense”. What that means is that he incorporates sketches into the narrative, and it’s a device that works extremely well.

Nate Rodriguez is a gifted police forensic artist. He’s been trained not only in the techniques of forensic art but also taken multiple c
Shonna Froebel
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This suspense novel features detectives from the NYPD, mainly Nate Rodriguez a sketch artist with the police who calls on his own intuition and the Santera religion of his grandmother for assistance. He had training at Quantico with the FBI and is a freelance at the NYPD, not tied to any department. His significant other is also a police officer, Terri Russo, running a task force in Homicide. They still have their own apartments, and their relationship is not generally known in the department.
Caterina Fava
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
First thing: I love receiving the Early reviewer books. Second thing: I am very picky about noir and mistery.[return]So here we have the main character who is a nice guy. A very nice guy. Sure, he had his share of problems, drugs, family matters and so on, but he is still a nice guy. Maybe he's a nice guy because of those problems. Anyways, the author makes sure that we know Rodriguez is a nice guy, like, every other page. It's irritating. Still, the book is not bad, if somewhat slow at the begi ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! This is the 2nd book in the Nate Rodriguez series - and it was written in 2008. I want to read more - but yet, I don't know if there will be another one :(
Anyway, Nate Rodriguez is a forensics sketch artist who works freelance. He is still dealing with the death of his father a few years ago. In this book, Bronx Lieutenant Bill Guthrie wants him to do a facial reconstruction of a skull with bullet holes that was also burned in a fire. Chief Perry Denton wants his help on the case of a
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Murder Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer has written a very original story about a not so common murder investigation. When Nate Rodriguez discovers four perpetrators that are also their own victims he knows something out of the box is happening.

The author goes through the story in immense detail. Based on a true story, the life of a forensic artist changes after ex post traumatic stress disorder victims are tested on. The request of the army asks three scientists to remove the gene or part of
May 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ok...THE MURDER NOTEBOOK seemed to be SO promising, at initial glance, but in the end, it only was so-so, in my opinion. I saw all the glowing blurbs from various sources about this author's novel, "Anatomy of Fear," so I figured...ok...this has drawings along with the prose, but it seemed like the guy was just trying too hard to sound cool a lot of the time, with cliche detective phrases that always rub me the wrong way. PLUS, there was this slightly hokie balokie element with his Hispanic gran ...more
Timothy Dalton
Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Jonathan Santlofer is not only a great story teller but also a very good artist. He creates a refreshing blend of interesting reading mixed with artwork. It really gives you a feel for what the main character Nate Rodriguez is seeing as he progresses during the events of the book. Sometimes these are the things I wish to be able to see when I am reading a novel. When the main character sees some medallion or is describing something intricate. I would like to actually see the picture of the objec ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Murder Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer

This is the first book I read by Jonathan Santlofer. The book caught my attention due to the pencil drawings. As a child, I drew a lot and am always a little jealous of people who draw well.

Nick Rodriguez is a forensic sketch artist who has worked with the NYPD in the past. As one of the best forensic sketch artists in the world, Nick is in high demand. So much so that Lt. Bill Guthrie asks Nick to do a reconstruction, and Nick's girlfriend, detective Ter
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Even though I figured out pretty early on the reason why the men were killing people, there was still a lot of mystery for which to continue reading ... plus my deduction was revealed about halfway through the book, so it was ancillary to the story anyway.

All in all your typical crime/mystery book, which would normally garner about 3 stars from me ... but this book also included facial sketches throughout (the main character is a police sketch artist), and I really thought those sketches added a
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a real page-turner! Santlofer deftly combines his talents as a crime novelist and artist to make this book "a novel of visual suspense." In doing so, he adds realism, and gives voice to his protagonist Nate Rodriguez, a sketch artist for the NYPD. "The Murder Notebook" is the second in the Nate Rodriguez series, and while I don't think it was detriment in reading the series out of order, you may want to start with the first in the series, "Anatomy of Fear." I hope Mr. Santlofer finds mo ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
The writing is rather simple, in the scientific sense, especially after reading books by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell. What Santlofer has going for him are his illustrations. The lead character is a police sketch artist and the novel is illustrated with not only his police sketches but also with drawings he creates in the middle of the night when he can't get an idea out of his head and scenes he observes.

The plot eneded up being more complicated than I had anticipated, and it ended up dra
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
A quick read and a satisfying conclusion to the story that carried over from the first book, "Anatomy of Fear." Nate is a likable character who goes above and beyond his duties of a sketch artist. In addition to seeing his sketches, we also get to learn about facial reconstruction in this book. Nate's grandmother had been my favorite character in "Anatomy of Fear" and I wish she could have played a more prominent role in this book as well. ...more
Mary Phillpotts
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I read a lot of mysteries/police procedurals. I enjoyed this one especially because it is illustrated! The story is about a police sketch artist and is illustrated by some of his sketches, which are integral to the story. The mystery itself was becoming clear half to three quarters of the way through and it was a bit dated mainly because the book was written about 8 years ago. I would read others in the series.
Feb 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
A real waste of time. Characters were 1mm deep, plot was transparent from the first few pages. Illustrations were an affectation. Can't understand all the 5-star reviews this received on Amazon. I read about the first 50 pages, then skipped to the end. *So* glad this was a library book. At least I didn't waste any money on it. ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
A Little bit better then the first. But the ending was pretty lame. Nothing new. The subplot makes a Little bit up for it. But again I miss a bit more descriptions of the People. Adding drawn Pictures is not enough. The character pretty much gets on my nerve. Seems like the greatest guy on the Police force. Many clichès are in the book. I wont read another book in the series.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a book that once into the story, you will not want to put it down. Adding to it, the small illustrations throughout, and its a great read. The beginning is a bit confusing till you get the gest of what is going on with the different characters.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nice comfortable writing style. Unusual use of drawings adds to the experience. Shrut, you would like this guy, and he has five or six books out.
John Hendricks
Oct 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-books-read
A good quick-moving book complete with FBI guys getting in the way, cop girlfriends, and Santeria...good Hispanic lead character as well....
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting characters that kept me reading, even though I figured out the case half way through.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Santlofer has an incredible knowledge of art in police work and an penchant for detail that can distract from the story. The plot seemed convoluted.
Kate Cometsevah
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
enjoyed the additions of the drawings that the lead character was composing throughout the story.
Dec 06, 2012 added it
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Jonathan Santlofer is the author of five novels and a highly respected artist whose work has been written about and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Arts, and appears in many public, private, and corporate collections. He serves on the board of Yaddo, one of the oldest artist communities in the country. Santlofer lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

Nate Rodriguez (2 books)
  • Anatomy of Fear (Nate Rodriguez, #1)

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