Stone Angels Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B0897MR4RW
- Publisher : Crooked Cat / darkstroke (August 11, 2020)
- Publication date : August 11, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 566 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 341 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,786,947 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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By DawnDe on September 8, 2020
This is definitely a page-turner.
Really good novel. I recommend it.
Readman skillfully describes the world of art, paintings, and the painting process. I was absolutely convinced Readman was an artist in real life, but no, her bio only describes a background with a more mainstream career.
Readman, a female author, presents a convincing male point-of-view in the protagonist, James. His psychotic behavior is also convincing because Readman thoroughly develops his background. And James’ background is not just “backstory” dump; it’s emotional and interesting and is colored by his relationship with his famous artist-mother.
The prose is a perfect juxtaposition of smooth, matter-of-fact language with horror. When James is out of touch with reality, the prose makes the scene all the more stark and scary.
Overall, Stone Angels is the kind of story that gets under your skin. I found myself continuing to think of James and his crimes and his art while away from the book. I was itching to get back to the story. 5 suspenseful stars!
Top reviews from other countries
Once James begins to establish himself as an artist he finds an agent, Basil, who incites his client’s resentment (not a clever move) by denying James a solo art exhibition and insisting he churns out landscapes and seascapes demanded by wealthy undiscerning clients. But James has his heart and mind set on creating art of a different kind: funerary art based on the paintings and monuments typically used for memorialising the dead. James finds his quasi-angelic models by stalking and kidnapping women, who portray a particular kind of translucence or classical beauty. The means he uses to achieve his ethereal portraits are chilling and disturbing.
At first I thought James Ravenscroft would turn out to be a Ripley-type character. He’s certainly a sociopath, perhaps a psychopath, but he lacks Ripley’s early charm. This doesn’t mean we’re not interested in reading about him because the author, Paula Readman has given us fascinating glimpses into the damaged mind of an anti-hero, who is unwavering in his purpose. We continually expect his deadly pursuit of new victims to be disrupted but time after time he gets away with it. The book becomes that kind of compulsive, scary drama you watch, peering out from behind a cushion.
I found this an original novel with a strong voice. Setting it in the sixties and early seventies, from the perspective of a character who has zero interest in the sexual and musical revolutions of the time, distances it perfectly and makes James Ravenscroft’s other-worldly oddness seem credible.
Narrating the story in the first person, Paula Readman truly gets inside the madman's head and gives the reader a chilling glimpse into what drives him.
I was totally engrossed by this character-driven suspense horror. It is dark, deep and thoughtful. No cheap thrills here, but pure artistry. Recommended.
Paula Readman has indeed created a true monster with James Ravencroft. I’ve finished reading this book but I know his character will haunt me for some time to come. Cold and calculating, the motivation for his awful actions spring from his single-minded passion for his art and to prove to himself the superiority of his artwork.
If you are looking for a well-written, chilling story with a compelling protagonist, I highly recommend this.
And the book has one of the best strap lines I've ever come across too.