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The Painter

     by Heller, Peter

The Painter

Haunted by tragedy, an acclaimed painter removes himself from the Santa Fe art scene to live a more reclusive life in remote Colorado. Jim Stegner's simple days consist of fly fishing and channeling his often disturbing visions into art. One day, his temper again catches up with him as he confronts an abusive, dislikeable hunting guide over a horse. What follows will lead Jim on a race for his life, as both his conscience and men bent on revenge pursue him. As Jim stands accused, his notoriety turns him into a celebrity artist - an object of curiosity - while his painting transforms into a cathartic release. Will Jim's art reveal the truth behind his guilt, and will those set on retribution catch him before he can be convicted? 

Author Peter Heller captures the arresting beauty of nature with his descriptions of Colorado and the southwest United States in this suspenseful literary masterpiece. His characters are patently human, both good and evil existing side by side as each wrestles with their past and future path. If you enjoyed the suspense and setting of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, you might give this novel a try. Peter Heller has contributed to NPR and the magazines Outside and Men's Journal.

Reviewed by cs, 03/16. Other reviews by cs.