Kate McKinnon Novels, 1

HarperCollins 2002

Murder is a fine art…A killer is preying on New York’s art community, creating gruesome depictions of famous paintings, using human flesh and blood as his media. Terror stalks this world of genius, greed, inspiration, and jealousy — a world Kate McKinnon knows all too well. A former NYPD cop who traded in her badge for a Ph.D in art history, Kate can see the method behind the psychopath’s madness — for the grisly slaughter of a former protégé is drawing her into the predator’s path. And as each new murder exceeds the last in savagery, Kate is trapped in the twisted obsessions of the death artist, who plans to use her body, her blood, and her fear to create the ultimate masterpiece.

Praise & Reviews

“A crime novel that is savage and erudite, layered in wit, satire and psychosis—in short, a chilling read.”
—USA Today

“An intriguing look at the New York art scene and a very original look at murder… a smart and sophisticated thriller.
—Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Death Artist is stylish, scary, and very, very smart. Jonathan Santlofer’s thriller really thrills.”
—Susan Isaac, #1 New York Times bestselling author


Notes on The Death Artist drawings

The Death Artist does not have illustrations, but I did a couple of sketches, one enacting a murder in the book which apes an installation by artist Edward Kienholz. This colored pencil drawing was used as inspiration by a filmmaker still trying to bring The Death Artist to the screen.

The other was a suggestion for the cover, a drawing after Jacques-Louis David Death of Marat painting. The great book designer Chip Kidd took my suggestion but did something simpler and much better, by turning the painting on end. 

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