An art critic journeys to a remote island off Brittany to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. The painter recalls their years of friendship, the gift of the critic's patronage, and his callous betrayals. As he struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas, it becomes clear that there is much more than a portrait at stake...
Mighty scary. Only an author as clever and confident as Pears could pull off this trick. (Newsweek)
A stripped-down exercise in creeping dread. (Christian Science Monitor)
A shrewd and masterful raconteur...a tour de force. (The Washington Post Book World)
Weirdly haunting, the traps [Pears] sets for the critic are also traps for the reader. (Baltimore Sun)
One gutsy novelist... The suspense becomes almost unbearable. (Boston Globe)
A fascinating world of high-minded literature written on a small canvas. (Houston Chronicle)
An exquisite little gem. (Booklist, starred review)