A Novel of Suspense
By Lauren Kelly
(Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061119040, 272pp.)
Publication Date: June 2007
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Awealthy, charismatic, and controversial "benefactress of art," Drewe Hildebrand disappears from her estate on the Hudson River, seemingly abducted in the night. Her young niece, Marta, found in a desolate wooded area close by, is too traumatized to describe the abductors. A provocative exhibit of avant-garde "bio-art" that includes a blood mask of Drewe Hildebrand is disrupted by protestors.
In this, her third suspense novel, Lauren Kelly explores the startling world of "bio-artists" and their admirers, examining the intermingling of private, inscrutable motives with public masks of dominance and power; the ways in which spiritual yearnings may be transformed into worldly, erotic appetites that consume the innocent.
Lauren Kelly is one pseudonym of Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. Oates's most recent novel, The Falls, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington Post Best Book of 2004, and a Chicago Tribune Top Ten Book of 2004. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she was a recipient of the Commonwealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature. In 2005 she was awarded France's Prix Femina for The Falls.
“Blood Mask packs in enough ideas and foreboding for a book double the length. Oates masterfully engages the reader.”