The Art of Death: A chilling serial killer thriller for fans of Chris Carter - David Fennell; | Foyles Bookstore
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The Art of Death: A chilling serial killer thriller for fans of Chris Carter
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The Art of Death: A chilling serial killer thriller for fans of Chris Carter (Paperback)

Usually despatched within 1 week.



'A truly extraordinary crime novel' - Lynda La Plante

'Written with a clear grasp of social media, the story simply bristles with invention - though it is not for the faint hearted' - Daily Mail

'You couldn't ask for a more assured if startlingly graphic and gory debut' - Irish Independent

'Satisfyingly gruesome fare' - Financial Times

Death is an art, and he is the master . . .

Three glass cabinets appear in London's Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous - an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn't know is that the killer is watching their every move - and he has his sights firmly set on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

Praise for The Art of Death:

'I flew through it . . . tense, gripping and brilliantly inventive' SIMON LELIC

'Unsettling, fast-paced, suspenseful and gripping . . . Excellent' WILL DEAN

'A serial killer thriller with the darkest of hearts' FIONA CUMMINS

'A tense-as-hell high-body count page turner, but a rarer thing too - one that's also full of genuine warmth and humanity' WILLIAM SHAW

Fiction & PoetryCrime & Thrillers Publisher: Zaffre Publication Date: 16/09/2021 ISBN-13: 9781838773458  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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David Fennell was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for London at the age of eighteen with GBP50 in one pocket and a dog-eared copy of Stephen King's The Stand in the other. He jobbed as a chef, waiter and bartender for several years before starting a career in writing for the software industry. He has been working in CyberSecurity for fourteen years and is a fierce advocate for information privacy. David has played rugby for Brighton and has studied Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. He is married and he and his partner split their time between Central London and Brighton. To find out more, visit his website: Follow him on Twitter: @davyfennell

More books by David Fennell

Customer Reviews

David Fennell is a debut author who has written a crime thriller with a deranged, unique serial killer, the likes I hadn’t seen before. An underground and anonymous artist leaves three glass cabinets in Trafalgar Square that contain a gruesome installation - the corpses of three homeless men. With more artistry exhibited, newly-promoted Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her Detective Sergeant Harry Quinn, they must follow the clues to stop the elusive killer before more bodies are discovered. With live streams of the victims ‘art’ being shown on social media, it becomes a desperate search against time. However, Archer realises the killer could be more interested in her and she may well be the masterpiece of his final show. If you are new to crime thrillers “The Art of Death” is a reasonable read with plenty of gory murders and action to keep the reader on a thrilling ride. However, to the seasoned crime devotee, this as a police procedural is a little suspect and I found a lot of inconsistencies and implausible logistics. If you’re prepared to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the murderous journey, it is a very entertaining read. DI Archer’s character is quite an enigma with a backstory that is rather complex and full on. This does add character to her persona but it is far from a realistic life story. Once again, the premise of the story will have you checking your online securities, as many other books have highlighted recently. Depending how you read this, you may well find this story creepy and intense, with an ending that’s exciting and fast paced. I like my crime thrillers to be a bit more intelligently plotted but I still enjoyed it and would probably read more in the DI Grace Archer series in the future. 3 stars

- 03/02/2021
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The Art of Death is a pretty run-of-the-mill serial killer thriller set in London and introduces newly promoted thirty-year-old DI Grace Archer as she prepares to start her first day at Charing Cross Police Station, where she is due to replace the detective she arrested for corruption. Prepared to face hostility from boss, DCI Clare Pierce, who was in a relationship with the corrupt cop, Grace’s first day is a baptism of fire that begins when she and DS Harry Quinn are called to a grotesque art installation outside a central London landmark. Confronted by the corpses of three homeless men floating in glass vitrines of formaldehyde, all being live streamed on social media, it is the latest work of an incognito artist who calls himself @nonymous. With more ‘exhibits’ in the same vein promised to follow in quick succession Grace is immediately on the back foot with a muckraking tabloid journalist eager to expose her own brush with death in childhood. DI Grace Archer’s backstory is wildly over-the-top and unbelievable (specifically that at the age of twelve she escaped from and became the sole survivor of a child serial killer) and Fennell elaborates extensively on it to the point where it intrudes on the investigation and the book begins to feel all about Grace facing down a second serial killer. Together with the implausibility that she would have been immediately drafted into the position of the detective she had arrested, and expected to report to DCI Pierce, it is not the most auspicious start to the book. However DI Grace Archer and sardonic DS Harry Quinn make an agreeable team despite Archer initially ruffling a few feathers by demanding to lead the investigation and parachuting in transsexual NCA analyst, friend and tech whizz, Klara Clark. There were early signs of a rapport developing between this trio who all have seem to have a solid work ethic and sense of humour which bodes well for future outings, with bigoted DI Rodney Hicks keen to undermine Grace and take the lead in the investigation. The novel is narrated in the third person and largely told from the perspective of Grace with the exception of interludes that follow @nonymous and the lives of his intended victims prior to falling into his clutches. The investigation is largely reactive due to the quick succession in which further exhibits appear meaning there is precious little opportunity to even begin identifying possible future targets. The results mostly come by way of Clark’s deft scrutiny of CCTV and monitoring of ANPR cameras, not making for a particularly exciting case. The novel itself cracks along at a decent pace and whilst suspension of disbelief is pretty much standard with every serial killer novel, with The Art of Death it is a necessity with laughably gory deaths, fantastical staging and a hefty body count. Whilst it’s obviously nigh on impossible to bring anything new to the serial killer thriller genre I was disappointed at how cliché-ridden and hackneyed The Art of Death felt even down to what seems to be the now de rigueur method of selecting victims via social media. The perpetrator isn’t particularly well disguised and, along with his obvious intention to target DI Grace Archer, the reveal is very little of a surprise. Overall a solid read but not one that left me particularly excited about future outings from DI Grace Archer or offerings from David Fennell.

- 30/01/2021
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Wow Wow Wow!! That is definitely how I feel after reading this book. The author made this book so much more unique and interesting that I thought it would be. Instead of a generic serial killer protagonist, the serial killer in this novel is unique and someone you know you would never want to come into contact with as they are extremely clever and cunning. Throughout the book I felt a mix of emotions but mainly shock and horror. Swapping between characters perspectives throughout the book was great too as your could feel the emotions of the killer, the police officers and the victims. The cover of the book was perfect and the blood splatters added to the horror of the book, it was great. I am really intrigued to read more books by this author as I can definitely say this is one of the best books I have read in quite a while. I have already recommended this books to friends and family and I look forward to being able to discuss it with them.

- 17/01/2021
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