Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Painter - Peter Heller

Jim Stegner has lost a lot.  A daughter, two wives, time spent in prison..... and if he's not very careful he's going to loose a lot more.  And all because of a bully and a little mare.  When Jim comes across Dellwood beating the mare because he cannot get her into a horsebox, a kind of rage creeps up and he gets out of his truck and attacks the man, breaking his nose and drawing blood.  He's made an enemy.  He retrieves the mare and Dellwood and his companions drive off, whilst Jim waits for a friend with a horsebox to come and take the mare to safety.

That's all it takes for things to go wrong.  No, not right, things had always gone wrong for Jim Stegner, and he is still living the grief that came with some of it.  But he can still paint, and his paintings are rising in value.  Every single one he paints, he can sell.  And now, Dellwood is dead.

I loved the Dog Stars by Heller, a dystopian tale on my all time favourites list.  Although this one is not going on that list, doesn't mean it's a bad read.  Quite the opposite, but it's a different kind of book.  This is about a man desparately trying to overcome grief.  It's a tale of revenge.  It's a thriller.  All those things have been seamlessly put together and turned into a book I couldn't stop reading.  I'd call it a modern Western novel. 

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