What better way to start the New Year than with a novel by Shirley Wells? If you haven’t read DYING ART, go get it and read it.
Wells’s protagonist, Dylan Scott, is back again, as complex and intriguing as ever. He unconsciously wants to be a loner in the Marlowe style, but he isn’t. He just gives too much of a damn. And he’s got a wife and kids, and an ex-hippie mother. When the book opens, he’s in his swanky new office, hoping to find a way to pay for it, when a former lover, Madeleine, shows up. Madeleine begs him to find out what happened to her sister, who or what caused Prue’s death, up in Dawson’s Clough, Dylan’s least favorite part of the country.
Of course, he agrees.
The police figure it’s a botched burglary attempt, ending with the victim’s fall down a flight of stairs, but something doesn’t sit right with Dylan. And Dylan goes with his gut.
Especially when he realizes Maddie has an ulterior motive in hiring him, and one of the paintings in Prue’s flat full of secondhand furniture turns out to be worth sixty thousand pounds.
Wells has the ability to integrate the most telling detail in a way that’s both unusual and completely organic. Her stories crackle with original use of setting, build their tension beautifully, and are passionately about justice or the lack thereof. No one is untainted; no one is without secrets. The book is a true page-turner, with wonderful surprises and accelerates to an exciting climax.
Shirley Wells always provides a great read; DYING ART is one of her best. What a great book to start the Reading Year of 2013!
Shirley Wells in her own words:
“I was born and raised in the Cotswolds and after time spent living in Cyprus and on the idyllic island of Hoy in the Orkneys, I’m now lucky enough to live in the beautiful rolling hills of the east Lancashire Pennines. It’s no surprise then that my mystery novels are set in the area as it saves on research trips.
People say it’s grim up north. It’s not. It’s beautiful. The weather leaves a lot to be desired but a bit of rain never hurt anyone, right?”
Visit her on her website, www.shirleywells.com