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Anatomy of Fear (Harper Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Harper Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882020
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,430,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A clever graphic element enlivens this solid serial-killer novel from Santolofer, a visual artist and author of three previous art-themed thrillers (The Killing Art, etc.). Nate Rodriguez, a talented NYPD police sketch artist, appears to have psychic abilities when it comes to visualizing perpetrators. When Nate sketches portraits, the drawings are reproduced in the text. Nate joins detective Terri Russo on a case in which the killer, a white supremacist who takes his deadly orders directly from God, leaves his own drawings at the crime scenes (also reproduced). Nate turns to his Puerto Rican grandmother, a santera ("a sort of neighborhood priestess"), for help. Together, they come up with drawings that point to a suspect closer to home than any of them have imagined. Plot devices include a trail of red herring clues that threaten to implicate Nate, overbearing FBI agents and a female-in-peril chase scene at the end, while the romantic relationship that develops between Nate and Terri leaves room for more to come. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jonathan Santlofer is the author of five novels and a highly respected artist whose work has been written about and reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, and Arts, and which appears in many public, private, and corporate collections. He lives and works in New York City.


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Customer Reviews

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Secondly, the character of Nate's grandmother is very well developed and she is very interesting.
Jeff
When I become aware of an author of a mystery series that I have not read, I like to begin at the beginning (if I can) and read the first book in the series.
M. Bretscher
He actually incorporates his artwork into the storyline, which works very well in ANATOMY OF FEAR.
Bookreporter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Santlofer has hit upon an interesting concept, combining visuals and narrative to create novels that are not quite graphic works yet are more than text supplemented with illustrations. He actually incorporates his artwork into the storyline, which works very well in ANATOMY OF FEAR.

Santlofer's fourth novel introduces Nate Rodriguez --- former New York City street cop, current police sketch artist, and son of a deceased NYPD narcotics officer killed in the line of duty. Rodriguez has an uncanny ability to produce amazingly lifelike drawings of unknown subjects, combining his innate talent with a gentle but firm witness-questioning technique. Terri Russo, an NYPD homicide detective, brings Rodriguez into an investigation involving a series of brutal homicides in which the killer leaves a drawing of the murder at the scene of the crime. Rodriguez is a natural for the case, as he is able to intuit elements from the drawings that a non-artist might miss. He must slowly come to grips with the fact that he possesses a sixth sense enabling him to see beyond that which is on the printed page.

Santlofer avoids the easy temptation of turning Rodriguez into Houdini; his visions, if you will, are imperfect, imprecise and only lead him in a certain direction rather than provide him with complete answers. Rodriguez is also assisted by his grandmother, a Santerian practitioner who almost functions as a deus ex machina as Rodriguez closes in on the killer.

Santlofer brings a number of interesting elements to the table here, including Rodriguez's mixed-race heritage (Jewish and Puerto Rican), the simmering attraction between Rodriguez and Russo, and the description of Santerian rituals, including one in which Rodriguez is a reluctant participant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on July 3, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Anatomy of Fear is the first book in a series starring Nathan Rodriguez, a police sketch artist with the NYPD. It's a very different book because it not only details the life and work of a sketch artist, but also has scores and score of drawings by 'Nate' which form an essential part of the plot.

Although the author still has some work to do in character development (he is way ahead of his earlier The Death Artist with this series), the combination of the drawings, the compelling story line, and the numerous side topics covered make this a really distinctive work which I am recommending to all of my crime fiction fan friends.

I want to call out three things that I really like about this book. First of all, the work of a psychologist named Paul Ekman plays heavily throughout. Ekman developed the practice of studying facial musculature movement to ascertain what is really going on in people's minds. It's fascinating work. The author is a big fan of it and understands it well. He gives us enough detail for it to be important without bowling us over.

Secondly, the character of Nate's grandmother is very well developed and she is very interesting. She has the roll that a strong bass player has in a small jazz group; set the pace and keep things moving!

Finally, I love the feel for Puerto Rican culture in NYC portrayed here, especially the detail on Santeria, a religion from the Caribbean. Not since Ernesto Quinonez's wonderful debut novel, Bodega Dreams, has the Puerto Rican culture of New York been so well detailed.

If you're new to Santlofer, the author, start with this series. I'm pushing myself through The Death Artist right now, and it is nowhere near as good as the first two books of the Rodriguez series. I'm looking forward to number three!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Bretscher on July 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I become aware of an author of a mystery series that I have not read, I like to begin at the beginning (if I can) and read the first book in the series. Now I plan to read every book this author publishes!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author uses his own background in art to put a unique spin on the serial killer genre - and it's a masterpiece. Police sketch artist Nate Rodriguez has a gift for accurately drawing the faces of perpetrators from eye witness descriptions. Then he gets involved in a case that at first appears to be nothing more than random murders - except that the killer leaves behind drawings of the victim in the death pose. The drawings were rendered before the murders were committed. The book is littered with reproductions of both Nate's drawings, and those of the killer. Nate and NYPD detective Terri Russo join forces to stop the killer. Nate also receives assistance from his Puerto Rican grandmother and her belief in Santera. The black magic aspect was a little far-fetched at first, but the story is written so well that the reader ends up buying into it anyway. Nate and Terri develop more than just a working relationship, and the story ends with the next book's murder case already under way. Can't wait to read that one too.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Santlofer has been quoted as saying that creative energy is creative energy. It doesn't matter how you use it." He uses his to the max as he combines his artistic ability with his writing skills to create fascinating and very compelling novels that are enhanced by pictures throughout.

Subtitled "A Novel of Visual Suspense," the author/artist introduces a new protagonist in his fourth book - Nate Rodriguez, a forensic sketch artist for the New York Police Department. However, Nate's not the only one with an artistic bent.

Terri Russo, who now leads an "NYPD Homicide Resource Division out of Midtown North" after being shot in the right shoulder by "a creep who just couldn't help himself" is called to a dark Brooklyn street where a drawing is pinned to a dead man. He's not the only one to be found dead in this manner. Whoever the perpetrator is likes to leave pencil sketches of his victims, but why?

It doesn't take Terri long to realize that she probably has a psychotic serial killer on the loose, and not clue one to go on. Nate is called in to try to get some sense of the murderer by studying his drawings. It seems that he's not just any forensic sketch artist but one who appears to have the amazing ability to create a perfect likeness with perhaps just one small detail from a witness, and he's possessed with a remarkable intuition. Some say Nate is psychic. All of these skills and more are needed to track this clever maniac.

As time passes it becomes a game of one-upmanship between the killer and Nate until finally Terri looks at a drawing and asks, "My God, what is he planning, world War III?" Suddenly it is not just one more potential victim but hundreds.
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