Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past.
Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience.
A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.
Editors Select, May 2014 - I absolutely loved his debut The Dog Stars – I’ve recommended it to just about every reader and listener I know - so I was very excited to see Peter Heller’s name among this spring’s new releases. Full disclosure: The Painter is not The Dog Stars in subject matter – but if you liked the latter for the author’s unique rhythmic prose, and interesting, complex characters, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this new book. The Painter is the story of Jim Stegner, a famous, middle aged painter who has settled down into a quiet, sober life of painting and fishing following a rather dark past (which includes the death of his teenage daughter and a brief stint in prison for an attempted murder). But an encounter with a dangerous stranger soon sets him on a fateful course that has him creating new demons faster than he can battle his old ones. An emotional, at times harrowing tale of love, loss, guilt, and redemption, The Painter is a brilliant sophomore effort from a great literary author (who I think I can now officially call one of my favorites!) Sam, Audible Editor
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