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Still Lives: A Novel

Still Lives: A Novel

Written by Maria Hummel

Narrated by Tavia Gilbert


Still Lives: A Novel

Written by Maria Hummel

Narrated by Tavia Gilbert

ratings:
3.5/5 (34 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Jun 5, 2018
ISBN:
9781684412457
Format:
Audiobook

Editor's Note

Book club pick…

Reese Witherspoon’s book club selected this arty murder mystery, and it's no surprise why: with a twisty plot and all the glamour of the LA art scene as its setting, this is a book as entertaining as it is smart.

Description

Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city's richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum's opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution's flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie's ex. A rogue's gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord's disappearance, she'll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Released:
Jun 5, 2018
ISBN:
9781684412457
Format:
Audiobook


About the author


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Reviews

What people think about Still Lives

3.6
34 ratings / 8 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I started out reading the ebook but enjoyed the book more once I switched to the audiobook. Overall a pretty good book. Ready to see what Reece chooses for September's book of the month.
  • (5/5)
    4.5 starsStill Lives is a fascinating read set in Los Angeles that focuses on the disappearance of an up-and-coming artist right before the opening night of her exhibition. The book is significantly darker and more grim than I usually tolerate, but the originality of the plot and the subject matter kept me reading at a furious pace to find what was going to happen next. Maggie Richter works as an editor at the Rocque Museum and has mixed feelings about Kim Lord’s exhibition, self-portraits of Lord dressed up as famous, murdered women including Nicole Brown Simpson, the Black Dahlia, and numerous others. On a professional level, Maggie is uncomfortable with the subject matter and the fact that the art work itself has drawn a lot of criticism; on a personal level, Kim Lord currently dates Maggie’s ex-boyfriend Greg who Maggie still misses. While the subject matter of the book is dark, Hummel’s deft and careful handling of the graphic elements of the story lessened the gruesomeness and allowed me to focus on Kim’s disappearance and the craziness of the modern art world.I highly recommend Still Lives. I finished it weeks ago and am still contemplating aspects of the story. To me that is a sign of a fabulous book.
  • (4/5)
    This suspense novel takes place in the world of art. It may sound like a strange setting but I can assure you that this is a real page turner that will have you racing to the end.Kim Lord has a new show opening at a small museum in LA. Though we never meet her in the novel, we know all about her art. Her new show depicts women who have been murdered at the scene of their murders. It's a violent unsettling show but one that has all the needed requirements to be very popular. The novel starts on opening night of the show but the artist never shows up. Is she pulling a publicity stunt or has something happened to her? The story is told by the central character, Maggie, an editor at the museum. Maggie gets pulled into the investigation because the main suspect, Greg, is Kim's boyfriend and Maggie's ex boyfriend. As Maggie gets pulled deeper into the investigation she begins to suspect people that she had trusted and puts her job in jeopardy.This is a real page turner that takes the reader behind the scenes in the art world.Thanks to goodreads for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
  • (4/5)
    Los Angeles was the lure to read this book for me. I lived a bus ride away in the 1980 and 1990s, so I wanted the atmosphere. I got that and also a very hard to put down mystery too. I have been reading it all day and have just finished it.Maggie Richter is working a modern art museum in down town Los Angeles like the author and that gives authenticity to her description of the city's art scene and what it was like to work there. She had not prepared for this career but landed in it because of her love of art and the city, Previously, something had happened in her past that she kept hidden and felt guilty about. When the story starts, everyone at the museum is gearing up for a new controversial exhibit. Kim Lord, the artist had been working a theme. She dressed herself, as famous women who had been murdered like Nicole Simpson Brown, the Black Dahlia and others. Even though she put years into painting the portraits of the murdered women, she did not want to sell them. She was making a statement about the use of the women as prey for society for entertainment. But when the show opens, she does not show up for the debut. When Maggie's boyfriend from the past also the current lover of Kim Lord is the main suspect is arrested, Maggie is sure that he could never murder any one and the hunt for the killer starts.Although, the story started out slowly, it was actually building in complexity and before long, it had me in its grip!.I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the Publisher as a win from FirstReads but that in no way made a difference in my thoughts or feelings in this review.
  • (2/5)
    In ‘Still Lives’ by Maria Hummel, the author introduces the reader to Kim Lord, a provocative artist, who inserts her self-portrait into her depictions of famous females who were previously murdered, such as Nicole Brown Simpson and the Black Dahlia. The Rocque Museum presents Kim Lord’s avant-garde work, but on opening night, the artist is nowhere to be found. As days go by, Lord remains missing, and Maggie Richter, an editor at the museum attempts to uncover this mystery. Meanwhile, Maggie’s former boyfriend, Greg Shaw Ferguson, is held by police as a murder suspect, since he most recently left Maggie and moved in with Lord. Although this story would seem an interesting and compelling topic, I was disengaged through a good portion of the book. I never felt an emotional connection to any of the characters, and for most of the story, it seemed like a bland reiteration of the events that occurred. For this reason, although the author seemed to be very knowledgeable about the workings of a museum, my detachment led me to feel grateful when the story finally came to an end.
  • (4/5)
    The glittering world of art can be at once insightful and nasty. Set in L. A at a prestigious gallery that is having money problems, a new show featuring the avant garde, often shocking Kim Lord. Her latest installations are paintings of women who were mudered in Los Angeles, including Nicole zBrown Simpson and the Black Dahlia. Lord uses her own face and body but the manner of death is prominently and sometimes graphically displayed. Maggie, a copy editor and proof reader for the museum, has roots in journalism, which is her first love. At the opening gala, Kim Lord makes headlines when she doesn't show up for her own show.This is a tightly plotted, literary mystery. What happened to Kim? Clues are scarce, the timeline of her disappearance, suspect but Maggie is determined to get to the bottom of this crime. She has a vested interest in the outcome. In her journey we see the parts of Los Angeles that is far from glam. We also see how violence to women titillates and sells. We see the underside of the art world, from collectors who manipulate the market to scammers who are out for a quick buck. There is a full, well rounded supporting cast and plenty of interpersonal drama. It all balances out nicely though, didn't guess the finale until Maggie herself makes the connection. This is a well done, well thought out story and is so much more than just a thriller.ARC from Counterpoint.
  • (3/5)
    Wanted to know something about the victim. So so read
  • (4/5)
    The writing is illustrative & expressive. It made it easy to keep listening. Although it took a couple of chapters for me to find the direction of the story, once it took off I couldn’t put it down! I began recommending it before I was even half way through.