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Title: Still Lives
Author: Maria Hummel
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publish Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller
My Rating: 3/5
Kim Lord is an avant–garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self–portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women―the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others―and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.
As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.
Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.
Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls on the up–and–coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.
Set against a culture that often fetishizes violence, Still Lives is a page–turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.
Maggie works in an art gallery where an exciting new exhibition is premiering. The exhibition is by Kim Lord, and includes self-portraits depicting herself as famous murder victims. On opening night, Kim is a no-show. As hours and days pass, it appears something sinister may have happened to Kim. Maggie starts asking questions, and trying to piece together what has happened to Kim.
Still Lives is told from Maggie’s point of view. As Maggie looks into Kim’s disappearance, she learns more about her coworkers and the art gallery. There is plenty of drama and secrets, and Maggie herself has a curious past. While the characters were interesting, I never connected to them or was drawn into the story. I did find the art world to be a compelling setting for the story. Still Lives is a good read, but not as thrilling as I was hoping for.
Books by Maria Hummel:
- Still Lives
- Lesson in Red