REVIEW: The Art of Death, by Bob Appavu

Title: The Art of Death

Series: Lychgate Book One

Author: Bob Appavu

Genre: Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages: 271

Reviewer: Sherry, Paranormal Romance Guild

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Starving artist Riley Burke refuses to be dependent on his rich older boyfriend—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school.  When the famous artist Coliaro requests him for a private modeling session, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.

But then Westwood, a mysterious stranger, warns him to steer clear—it’s said Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.

Riley dismisses the rumors—until they start to play out before his eyes. When he becomes a target, Westwood comes to his aid. But Westwood is secretive and dangerous himself… which just makes him more attractive to Riley. Riley is in over his head, and even his tenuous alliance with Westwood might not save him.

Note: This title was originally published under an alternate pen name. This second edition has been re-edited and significantly updated.

The Review

Westwood didn’t reply right away. A smile twitched at the corner of his mouth, as if he enjoyed making Riley squirm. After he’d milked the silence for as long as he could, he finally answered, “People say he’s undead.”—Art of Death 

***

With that, you know you’re in for a paranormal romp. “Art of Death” is a novel by Bob Appavu, an illustrator and writer of speculative fiction, suspense, thrillers, mysteries and paranormal romance. Appavu is also known for her webcomic series “Demon of the Underground.”

“Art of Death” is an engaging paranormal novel with characters who have readily recognizable lives including the push and pull of relationship dynamics, career snags, and trust issues. Just when you think you have a firm hold on that, along come the undead and their adoring but fanatical minion whose introduction hints at the edge of your seat action to come.

There is a clever passing nod to “The Picture of Dorian Grey,” and the introduction of a group called Lychgate, a watchdog for the supernatural. Lychgate also provides the opportunity for additional paranormal stories and intrigue following this novel. The story action is suspenseful, and the love story certainly adds to the suspense but I would have liked to see the main character, Riley, be a little less complacent about the ritualistic killings and paranormal mystery linked to several men new to his life. Appavu’s knowledge of art enhances the action without being distracting and in many ways, it sets the mood not only for this book but hopefully for more to come.

“A four-star paranormal romance thriller about a struggling artist’s model, a renowned painter and more than one should-have-seen-it coming plot twists.” 

The Reviewer

Sherry Perkins has worked as a licensed practical nurse for more than thirty-five years and has experience in psychiatric/addictions nursing, nursing-care coordination, and risk management. She earned a BS in health sciences from Campbell University and has spoken at public health functions on topics such as addiction prevention and treatment, prevention of teenage opioid deaths, and connecting patients who are resistant to treatment with appropriate services. 

A mother of four, Perkins lives with extended family on the Delmarva Peninsula, where she enjoys collecting shells and sea glass; reading and writing mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy; doing organic gardening; and following the Dave Matthews Band around the East Coast

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