The First in the Trilogy of Remembrance

Mary Martin hit my radar last year with the Osgoode trilogy, This series was very well crafted, and unlike many trilogy projects each book stood on its own merit. All too often you find that book two is filler. Book one is designed to hook the reader, book two two just strings the reader along, and book three gets to the meat and potatoes of the story. I did not find that with Marty Martin, there was a stand alone story in each volume.

I received word about The Drawing Lesson a few weeks ago. I have to admit that I was interested to see what new direction Mary Martin had headed in. Once again she has opted for a three book series, which is an ambitious challenge for any author. In someways I was expecting a reinvention of the Osgoode Trilogy, I liked the style of writing, and I thought the plot line was an interesting one. I could not have been more surprised with The Drawing Lesson. The author has headed off in a new and very interesting direction.

Not only has Mary Martin opted for a very different plot line, but even the writing style is different in a subtle and reader pleasing way. I class myself as being someone that can recognize a writers style. Show me a 500 word sample of a writer I am familiar with, and I can tell you who wrote it.

The Drawing Lesson is a work that I would not have been able to guess the author. The style is so completely different!

The story is set in the modern day, yet much of the dialogue has that feeling of Masterpiece Theater floating in the air. It is this aspect that had me hooked from the first few pages.

OK I have pontificated long enough, I know that people want to find out about the nits and grits of the book. It is told through the eyes and memory of art promoter James Helmsworth. Jamie is not only an art critic, but also the agent acting for artist Alexander Wainwright . Those of you involved in the art world have no doubt heard of the Tate Gallery in London, and may even be familiar with the annual Turner prize. To win the Turner is the dream of every living artist.

Alex Wainwright does win, his painting The Hay Wagon, is a work beyond measure. Although a night scene, even the shadows and darkness have light. Unfortunately one artist is less than happy. To Rinaldo, art is more than paint on a canvas, art is a dynamic life form, often gone in mere seconds. Art should shock, rather than soothe. Art provokes rather than inspires.

It is with this background that Mary Martin brings The Drawing Lesson to life. I think the term Psychological Thriller comes to mind. We watch as outsiders as both Alex and Rinaldo battle their own demons, both broaching the very edge of insanity.

It will be interesting to see where Mary Martin takes this trilogy. Her writing style is elegant, and one you do not often find in todays writing. The art world may seem a strange choice as a setting, but The Drawing Lesson works in a wonderful way.

You can order your copy of The Drawing Lesson from Amazon by clicking the cover art above.

Simon Barrett

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