The Genius (Hardcover)
Putnam Adult, 9780399154591, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 10, 2008
The sinister and provocative thriller from crime writing's freshest new voice.
Ethan Muller is struggling to establish his reputation as a dealer in the cut-throat world of contemporary art, when he stumbles onto a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in a decaying New York slum, an elderly tenant named Victor Cracke has disappeared, leaving behind a staggeringly large trove of original artwork. Nobody can say anything for certain about Cracke, except that he came and went in solitude for nearly forty years, his genius hidden and unacknowledged. All that is about to change.
So what if, strictly speaking, the art doesn't belong to Ethan? He can sell it--and he does just that, mounting a wildly successful show. Buyers clamor. Critics sing. Museums are interested, and Ethan's photo looks great in The New York Times. Then things go to hell.
Suddenly the police want to talk to him. It seems that Victor Cracke had a nasty past, and the drawings hanging in the Muller Gallery have begun to look a lot less like art and a lot more like evidence.
Is Victor Cracke a genius? A murderer? Both? Is there a difference? Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that touches horrifyingly close to home.
Kellerman's tight, assured prose is electrifying, exhilarating, and compulsively readable. Part confessional, part philosophical inquiry, Stop is the detective novel reimagined like never before.