Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Japan
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Los Angeles

Still Lives

Still Lives

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A woman creates art from pictures of female victims of crime..then she herself goes missing

  • ISBN: 978-1787479562
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Revered artist Kim Lord is about to unveil her most shocking show yet: Still Lives, a series of self-portraits in which she impersonates the female victims of America’s most famous homicides, from Nicole Brown Simpson to the Black Dahlia.

As celebrities and rich patrons pour into L.A.’s Rocque Museum for the opening night, the attendees wait eagerly for Kim’s arrival. All except Maggie Richter, museum editor and ex-girlfriend of Greg Shaw Ferguson, Kim’s new boyfriend. But Kim never shows up to her party and the crowd’s impatience slowly turns to unease.

When Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder, it seems that life is imitating art. Has Kim suffered the same fate as the women in her paintings? As Maggie is drawn into an investigation of her own, she uncovers dark and deadly truths that will change her life forever…

Travel Guide

Los Angeles and the LA art scene

This is the Los Angeles of your worst nightmares even though it’s supposed to be the city of dreams. Maria transports you and immerses you fully into the corruption and stained glamour of the art world.

The Roque Museum in the novel is fictional (thank goodness…imagine?) but there are more than a fair share of art galleries with edgy displays. Try the Hammer museum for example.

The exhibit which is the talk of the town in the novel is a controversial one. Kim Lord as been away from the art scene for ten years and comes back with a bang! Still life portraits of famous female murder victims. Now, LA might be known for it ghoulish, bad taste but some would say this is too far even for LA. The borders of decency are well and truly crossed as the painter herself portrays each victim on the painting

Any opening night is a nerve-wracking affair but this one more than most. The murder victims on the wall are all real life cases and this makes the setting and the reality of the art scene all the more scarily real.

There are many art galleries in and around LA with paintings for every taste. This is the darkest one yet.

The exhibit which is the talk of the town in the novel is a controversial one. Kim Lord as been away from the art scene for ten years and comes back with a bang! Still life portraits of famous female murder victims. Now, LA might be known for it ghoulish, bad taste but some would say this is too far even for LA. The borders of decency are well and truly crossed as the painter herself portrays each victim on the painting

Any opening night is a nerve-wracking affair but this one more than most. The murder victims on the wall are all real life cases and this makes the setting and the reality of the art scene all the more scarily real.

There are many art galleries in and around LA with paintings for every taste. This is the darkest one yet.

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

There’s something deliciously dark about the setting of the art world and what goes on behind the scenes.

This is dark and the art even darker – imagine the reaction to a display of portraits of ‘famous’ dead women, the victims of crime. I know that people do have a gory sense of fascination at times and that there are alternative artists who like to ‘challenge boundaries’ etc but this sets the dark tone of the novel from the start. I remember that portrait of Myra Hindley made from pictures of children’s hands. I can’t say in polite society what I thought of that! This book reminded me of the hypocrisy in the art world, the differences in those who appreciate art and understand it and the rest. Of course, there’s the big group in the middle who say they like it and understand it when they don’t. The story of The Emperor’s New clothes comes to mind!

When the star of the show so to speak goes missing, given the art, I admit I wasn’t really that bothered given what she painted. BUT therein starts a satirical and tongue in cheek journey through the art world, behind the scenes and back again. It’s a crazy world but a fascinating one. It’s a dark and claustrophobic world – where super collectors pay big bucks to owe controversy and the dealers, not unlike those who deal in the powdered drugs, ensure that art is perhaps the biggest drug of them all.

Los Angeles and its art world provides a dark and unsettling canvas for this murder mystery. There are stains of red paint and black marks everywhere. Become immersed and then stand back for the bigger picture.

It’s Noir, it’s dark and distasteful at times but the central mystery allows for much navel gazing and really looks into our society’s ghoulish fascination for murdered women and violence against women in general.

I’m going to need to read a Christmas romance now to cleanse my reading palette.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Still Lives

Destination : Los Angeles  Author/Guide: Maria Hummel  Departure Time: 2000s

Back to Results

Featured Book

The Spirit Engineer

1914: Based on a shocking true story…

Read more