In Paris, American sculptor Ross Marteau is renowned for his sensual depictions of women's bodies. After his latest love affair ends violently, he retreats to his home in Texas to start a new commission. In his local restaurant he meets Celeste, a charismatically beautiful woman, and she suggests another commission to him - her sister Leda. ...
In Paris, American sculptor Ross Marteau is renowned for his sensual depictions of women's bodies. After his latest love affair ends violently, he retreats to his home in Texas to start a new commission. In his local restaurant he meets Celeste, a charismatically beautiful woman, and she suggests another commission to him - her sister Leda. Intrigued he agrees to meet Leda and discovers that as well as being the most beautiful woman he has ever seen she is also the most grotesque, her body distorted by her being a hunchback. Fascinated by the challenge sculpting her would entail, he agrees to take the commission. Soon he is obsessively in love with Celeste and obsessively intrigued by Leda, and he finds himself pulled deeper and deeper into their world until someone close to them is killed, and Ross finds himself so deeply ensnared in their web of dark secrets and twisted motivations that he is close to mortal suffocation.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-09 Set in the art world, this latest psychological thriller by suspense veteran Lindsey (Mercy; Color of Night) is an alternately entertaining and frustrating tale of a sculptor's entanglement in revenge and murder. Ross Marteau makes a handsome living sculpting female nudes from glamorous live models. After a bad breakup in Paris, he returns home to San Rafael a chic, artsy enclave in the Texas hill country for his next commission. Upon his arrival, exotically beautiful newcomer CÚleste Lacan seeks him out and persuades him to sculpt her sister, Leda. Leda is striking in a photograph CÚleste shows Ross, but Leda, CÚleste hints, is not an ordinary beauty she will be a unique artistic challenge. As Ross soon discovers, Leda is a hunchback, stunning from some angles and startling from others. As Ross begins sketching her daily, and he and CÚleste become romantically involved, he glimpses details of the sordid arrangement that binds the sisters to each other and to CÚleste's abusive husband. There is an eerie tension among Ross, CÚleste and Leda, which heightens when a murder disturbs the calm of San Rafael. Lindsey conceives an intriguing scenario and wrestles his story through unexpected turns. At time his efforts to conceal surprises make the writing, and especially the dialogue, irritatingly vague, and Ross becomes less sympathetic as time after time he fails to ask obvious questions when subjected to the sisters' cryptic babbling. But as the end approaches, Lindsey's obfuscation pays off, and a few clever twists are guaranteed to throw readers for a delicious loop. National advertising. (May 8) Forecast: Lindsey is one of the most accomplished writers in the thriller field, but his tales, while solid, don't match his enormous talent; and this novel, with its offbeat subject and erudite approach, won't be a smash hit. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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