STAR RATING: 4 Stars
Book Description from Amazon
Terri is a talented art curator, stagnating in a dead end job in London. Her ex-boyfriend, Oliver, is violent and abusive and now he’s stalking her; a post curating the retrospective of a famous but reclusive artist seems the perfect escape. Portrait painter, Peter, Stedding, lives in the mountains of Provence, in a house he shares with his wife, daughter and eccentric sister, Celia. The setting is idyllic; the atmosphere is not: Peter is rude and obstructive, his household strained and silent.
The place holds secrets, it becomes clear: stories no-one is allowed to tell. So what is Peter hiding? And why should Terri care? Her past has its own dark ghosts. Anyway, she’s got an exhibition to organise.
Searching through Peter’s old paintings, Terri finds a tantalising clue. Soon she is caught up in a cat and mouse game in search of the truth. But is it wise to start digging up the past?
As with most of the books I read, I first downloaded a sample of Silent Faces, Painted Ghosts. It then waited patiently on my Kindle until I eventually decided to sink my teeth into it late one evening. Big mistake! The book drew me in and I unfortunately only got to sleep very late that night. The story centers on the experiences Terry, a newly single art curator, encounter when she decides to take on a new job. The decision did not come without reservations, but making a choice between having to deal with her stalker ex-boyfriend and the reported eccentricities of a famous artist, she chose the latter.
What I liked about the book
The majority of the story is told from Terri’s perspective, with only glimpses into the opinion others have about her. I liked this as it enabled me to see her from different perspectives while still maintaining an air of mystery. I enjoyed getting to know Peter Stedding. His grating personality and inability to communicate effectively with people was interesting and I found myself liking him one minute and really disliking him the next. The mystery surrounding events in his past was fascinating, and I couldn’t wait to find out exactly what happened that fateful day so many years ago.
I liked the history behind the relationship between Terry and Luc. It was cleverly done and added to the layers of intrigue. More than once I caught myself hoping they’d work things out.
What I didn’t enjoy that much
There was one thing that niggled me a bit – Terry’s reaction to Oliver’s stalking. She seemed fearful and angst ridden but did not involve the police. One would think that after months of being stalked by a violent, abusive ex that you would at least report him. Having said that, I’ve never been stalked so am not sure what a normal reaction to this type of behaviour would be.
Silent Faces, Painted Ghosts was a wonderfully enjoyable read. It contained heaps of mystery and intrigue, a nice love story and a great plot. Shuker is truly a gifted storyteller and I would love to read more of her books.
STAR RATING: 4 Stars