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WHAT MEETS THE EYE
by Alex Kenna
Crooked Lane, December 2022
288 pages
$37.99 CAD
ISBN: 1639101845


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Kate Myles was a promising police detective working in Los Angeles, at least until she suffered an horrific accident and found herself addicted to opioids. Now a single mom struggling to rebuild her life, she works on the fringes of the legal world as a PI, occasionally calling on former officers in the force when needed.

Kate's latest case involves the hanging death of Margot Starling, a rising and talented painter who has died suddenly. The police put it down as suicide, but her father thinks otherwise, and an initial look at the evidence inclines Kate to agree with him. Though clearly a gifted artist, Starling's work was controversial, and she made important enemies as her career progressed.

Kate's investigation takes her from the familiar world of policing to the netherworld of struggling artists and manipulative gallery dealers who are prepared to shade the ethical edges of their work to increase their profits. Could the ambitious artist simply have crossed a bridge too far? Kate's investigation will find her testing the limits of the law as she strives to make sense of Margot's convoluted life. And the case takes on new urgency when her young daughter becomes a target.

WHAT MEETS THE EYE provides a compelling insight into the intersection where struggling artists are confronted by those motivated by greed, and tainted by activities that go far beyond the realm of artistic goals and legitimate business practices. Author Alex Kenna is a prosecutor and avid Sunday painter, and this is her debut novel. But make no mistake: it's a clear winner. With a fresh voice, an informed appreciation of some of the seamier aspects of art and art galleries, WHAT MEETS THE EYE is a pacy and insightful account of the life of ambitious and sometimes self-aggrandizing artists and the convoluted paths their lives can take in the quest for success. The characters are well-rounded and believable, and the settings are all-too-convincing. Told from multiple points of view, and with a sassy, streetwise protagonist and dialogue that keeps you glued to the page, this is a very impressive debut, and I look forward to more from this intriguing author.

In addition to being a reviewer with over six hundred reviews to his credit, Jim Napier is the acclaimed author of Legacy and Ridley's War, in the British-based Colin McDermott mystery series.

Reviewed by Jim Napier, January 2023

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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