- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Slp Har/Pa edition (June 9, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312383827
- ISBN-13: 978-0312383824
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Personal Effects: Dark Art Hardcover – June 9, 2009
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hutchins, author of the audiobook podcast trilogy 7th Son, makes his print debut with the stellar first of an interactive supernatural thriller series. Zach Taylor, an art therapist, must evaluate Martin Grace, a blind audio engineer suspected of a dozen homicides, to determine whether Martin is mentally competent to stand trial for the murder of hip-hop singer Tanya Gold, whose body was torn literally limb from limb. Martin claims he's an unwitting psychic sniper, foreseeing crimes actually committed by a Russian demon or Dark Man. One of his possible earlier victims was Martin's psychiatrist, Sophronia Poole, the girlfriend of Zack's dad, William V. Taylor, the New York City DA seeking to convict Martin. Weisman, an alternative reality game whiz, is responsible for the items inside the book's front pocket—a psychiatric report, family photos, death and birth certificates, etc.—that allow the reader to follow a multimedia trail of clues. (June)
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"Hutchins, author of the audiobook podcast trilogy 7th Son, makes his print debut with the stellar first of an interactive supernatural thriller series. Zach Taylor, an art therapist, must evaluate Martin Grace, a blind audio engineer suspected of a dozen homicides, to determine whether Martin is mentally competent to stand trial for the murder of hip-hop singer Tanya Gold, whose body was “torn literally limb from limb.” Martin claims he’s an “unwitting psychic sniper,” fore-seeing crimes actually committed by a Russian demon or “Dark Man.” One of his possible earlier victims was Martin’s psychiatrist, Sophronia Poole, the girlfriend of Zack’s dad, William V. Taylor, the New York City DA seeking to convict Martin. Weisman, an alternative reality game whiz, is responsible for the items inside the book’s front pocket—a psychiatric report, family photos, death and birth certificates, etc.—that allow the reader to follow a multimedia trail of clues." --Starred Publishers Weekly (June)
"Start with an eerie setting. Add equal parts House, CSI, andThe X-Files. Place yourself at the side of an accidental detective embroiled in a complex web of madness, revenge, betrayal, and secret identities. Then light some dynamite under the box most novels live in and watch the pieces land outside the pages—in art, on websites, in e-mails, and in phone numbers that give you answers when you call. This is the future of storytelling, and it’s a thrilling ride." --Anthony E. Zuiker, Creator/Executive Producer of the CSI: Franchise
"Jordan Weisman is once again the vanguard of that new form of narrative—Transmedia Storytelling. The enigmatic tapestry of characters and events slowly slips off the page, taking the reader with it into a mosaic of facts and clues that compel us to know the truth behind the murders of the accused: Martin Grace. So compelling is the journey between these precisely crafted symbiotic worlds, the reader may scarcely recognize their own transformation from passive to active, as they pick up where the text subsides and become the protagonist." --Gore Verbinski, Director
"The world may be black to Martin Grace, but he can peer deep into your soul, find where your fears slither, and make them sway like a snake charmer. Personal Effects is a rocking genre-mash that mixes mystery with psychodrama and serves it up in a high-bandwidth torrent of terror." --Scott Sigler, author of Infected and the hit podcast novel Earthcore
"J.C. Hutchins delivers another mind-ripping story that shakes the foundations of reality. In the creation of Martin Grace he offers a richly complicated catalyst for events that keeps writhing the reader on a deadly twisted hook that won't let go. Don't worry about the lap bar. It won't save you from screaming on this ride." --Patrick Lussier, director of White Noise 2, Dracula 2000, and editor of the Scream trilogy, Halloween: H20, The Eye, and Red Eye
Top Customer Reviews
The plot and characterization doesn't stop with the novel, though. The personal effects that come with the book allow you to learn more about the mysteries inside, and if you follow the websites and phone numbers, you will get more information about the goings on of the novel than the characters themselves got.
This book grabbed me, pulled me in, and didn't let go. Hutchins' narrative voice is fun to read; he makes you feel like you're sliding effortlessly into the plot. Expect more awesome from this author in the future. For now, buy this book.
What I love most about Personal Effects is that it's not JUST words on a page, it's an experience. The book is set up to give the reader visual clues, concepts and personality through the pictures and items within the novel. Even the way the text is set on the page speaks volumes to the mood, tone and feel of this book. This is a full immersion experience. If you're one of those folks who can't sit through a novel - this is the one to try.
From page one I was sucked into the story, the characters and the mystery. And I think you will be too.
"Personal Effects: Dark Art" is, first and foremost, an excellent novel by J.C. Hutchins. The story follows a young art therapist, Zach Taylor, whose chosen career is informed by personal tragedy and a temptation to embrace the darker, self-destructive path he once walked.
He works in the most bizarre, twisted and just plain contra-healing mental health facility in fiction since Gotham City's Arkham Asylum: Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital, an establishment built on the site of an old brownstone quarry. Yes, it's a place where every floor after the first is a basement -- the entire thing is underground. The metaphor of "digging" into the subconscious is obvious, and the literary knife twist of a hospital with no windows is delightfully creepy.
Taylor's patient is a serial killer. The problem for an art therapist is that Martin Grace is blind. How can you treat someone with visual arts if they can't even see? And how did a blind man kill all those people?
The pressure to come to some conclusion about Grace's ability to stand trial is heavy, and it comes from sources both professional and personal. The slow bleed of the case into Taylor's own past drives the story from creepy psychological thriller into territory that is decidedly more unnerving.Read more ›
The story follows Zach Taylor, a gifted art therapist who is employed at Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital. Otherwise known as `The Brink.' Zach has a way of reaching his patients through art therapy. Allowing them to express themselves to the point where they open up to him so the healing can begin. When a new patient is admitted though, Zach is forced to reevaluate everything his knows about his talents...and his past.
Enter Martin Grace. An alleged serial killer who is under suspicion for 12 murders and is admitted to The Brink for psychiatric treatment to see if he's fit to stand trial. The only problem is, Martin Grace is blind, so how could he have killed 12 people? Zach is faced with the challenge of unraveling the mystery of Martin Grace and in doing so is plunged into a world so dark, so terrifying, that it not only forces him to question everything he knew to be true, but also forces him to face The Dark Man. A villain so evil that you'd swear that it was the spawn of Satan himself.
Reading Personal Effects: Dark Art was not only a treat (as a lifelong horror fan, I am always looking for the next best scare) but it was also a mind bending experience. Hutchins has a way of grabbing you head first and pulling you in to the darkness to the point where you forget everything that is going on around you.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It would have been fun if the websites and phone numbers still worked....Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Personal Effect: Dark Arts by J.C. Hutchins and Jordon Weisman introduces an interesting multi-format approach to mystery reading. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Annette Lamb
This book really opened my eyes to the possibilities of book making. This was by far one of the most interactive books I've ever seen. The many items inside were so much fun. Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Squirrel
JC Hutchins fails to disappoint with any of his writings. I got started with his 7th Son trilogy, but only the first book is out in print.Published on January 13, 2014 by Eric Hess
I read this book a few years back and I plan on reading again. I'll first say that this book lies somewhere between 3 stars and 4 stars. Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by Yours
the authors are obviously very young, liberal, naive, and optimistic, but they will undoubtedly grow out of it :) book was very fun to read, really grabs your attention, but it... Read morePublished on April 18, 2013 by White Rabbit
I'm sorry it took me this long to review this book. I absolutely love it. I wish Mr. Hutchins was putting out more work. I love his books and this one has really stayed with me.Published on March 13, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The book is good, the idea is great, but nearly all the websites are now defunct and people should be aware of this before buying the book. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by Midwest Andy