David Fennell

The Art of Death

"Fennell wastes no time getting into his stride."


Three glass cabinets appear in London's Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous - an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn't know is that the killer is watching their every move - and he has his sights firmly set on her. He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

Purchase the book from Amazon.


Fennell wastes no time getting into his stride. From the get-go we have an innocent café scene, friends and family catching up over coffee (remember those days?) and people on their way to work fetching a coffee to go on their way to the office. Where is the menace in that, I hear you ask? But someone is watching particular people in this café, folks he has been communicating with for some time. This person has inveigled their way into these people’s lives, their hopes of friendship or even romance could finally be on the cards. But as we all know, there are many ways people can hide their true persona online. All these people will become part of a sick art installation placed in prominent parts of London. We also find that DI Grace Archer is in the café, so close to the killer known as @nonymous – a killer who is going to cause her such trauma over the next few days. Archer comes with her own personal history of grief: a father killed in the line of duty and a grandfather she adores but is slowly losing his grip on reality. Archer also has her own demons which we get a peek at in this first instalment, but will become clearer over subsequent books. Grace isn’t an easy person to like, but as the story progresses you realise that she is how she is because of her background. It is then you realise why she is uptight and feels as though she has the world on her shoulders. However, to balance this, we have Quinn and Klara, although they have their issues to deal with, these two, especially Klara, brought much needed light relief to the proceedings. Fennell is extremely good at dialogue, especially the chat within the office atmosphere where not everyone seems to have received the memo that we are now in the 21st Century. ‘The Art of Death’ is highly addictive and satisfying. As with all art, Fennell delivers light and shade in abundance. This is a solid start to the series and one you won’t want to put down.

Reviewed By: