Synopses & Reviews
Jonathan Santlofer uses his formidable skills, both as a writer and an artist, to create a unique thriller with a tantalizing concept: two men one good, one evil who think in pictures and whose drawings illustrate this gripping novel. Anatomy of Fear pits Santlofer's new hero, the talented and highly successful police sketch artist Nate Rodriguez, against a vicious murderer who makes portraits of his victims before he kills them.
Haunted by the death of his father, an NYPD undercover narc, Nate has avoided the action and buried his emotions behind his pads and pencils for years. But that's all about to change. Brought onto the case to draw the face of a man no one has lived to see, Nate is pulled into the dark and twisted mind of a killer. As the portrait comes to Nate in bits and pieces a face taking shape in his mind and on the page the killer uses his own talents to shift the focus of the investigation in a startling and unexpected way. Each drawing moves the men ever closer to each other in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with deadly consequences.
Jonathan Santlofer has crafted a brilliant and original suspense novel that mixes prose and pictures, love and hate, cold reality and mysticism, and finally redemption. Anatomy of Fear will have readers on the edge of their seats from the first page and first picture to the riveting climax.
"Jonathan Santlofer's new novel promises a treatise on terror, but the larger theme gets lost in his multifaceted story line....And the flow is also interrupted by his inconsistent dialogue." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Santlofer, also an artist, presents some 100 original sketches throughout the text that serve as an important part of the narrative for both Rodriguez and the killer. A fine series start." Library Journal
Featuring provocative sketches throughout, this novel of visual suspense offers a truly radical way of storytelling that is sure to enthrall thriller fans.
Nate Rodriguez is a police sketch artist for the NYPD, and his success rate is high, with one out of three of his drawings leading to an arrest. But when he is faced with an unusually talented killer, he realizes that he may have met his match. For this killer is a man very much like himself–a man who sees and thinks in pictures. A killer who leaves drawings at the crime scenes depicting his murders in chilling, gory–and prescient–detail.
As Nate's portraits become more and more accurate images of the madman–the killer finds a way to steal Nate's portraits and then imitate Nate's own hand. The conflicting evidence leads the police to suspect that Nate himself could be the killer and pushes Nate into a frightening cat and mouse chase for his quarry. Life and death, art and artifice have never been so vividly bound together.
Jonathan Santlofer pushes the boundaries of the thriller to new heights with this masterful blend of art and suspense. With sequential sketches that alternate throughout the text–first the killer's, then Nate's–Santlofer teases us with irresistible clues and psychological details delivered in a highly original way.
A breathtakingly original novel of suspense, this thriller mixes prose and pictures to create a story that burns its way into the brain and brilliantly revitalizes the crime fiction genre.
About the Author
Jonathan Santlofer is a highly respected artist whose work has been written about and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Arts and appears in many public, private, and corporate collections such as Chase Manhattan Bank and the Art Institute of Chicago. He serves on the board of Yaddo, one of the oldest artist communities in the country. Santlofer lives and works in New York City. This is his fourth novel.