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The Sculptor (2010)

The Sculptor (2010)
3.58 of 5 Votes: 5
0786022124 (ISBN13: 9780786022120)
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The Sculptor (2010)
The Sculptor (2010)

About book: Originally from Dread Central:Serial killers have long held the fascination of horror fans, with names like Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates topping the list. But unlike those icons of madness, there are others, like John Doe from Seven, whose brutality is about something more than death and the unbridled need for carnage in that it is intended to send a message. In Gregory Funaro's debut novel, The Sculptor, the killer has a message, and his way of sending it is chilling.The Sculptor centers on art historian Cathy Hildebrant, who is the world's foremost authority on the sculpted works of Michelangelo. When a victim turns up posed and preserved in a near exact likeness of Michelangelo's "Baccus" (and with her name neatly inscribed on the statue's base), the FBI contacts her to try to make sense of the crime, and to discover what the killer wants.To say that the character of "The Sculptor" is fascinating is an understatement. Brutal, methodical, and twisted, Funaro has created a nightmarish human being of not only gargantuan proportions, but frighteningly intelligent as well. The reader gets to watch as he chooses his victims, confronts them with what's about to happen to them, and butchers them into his gruesome works of art. We get to see the thought process behind his madness, and it's a darkly interesting window. The concept of preserving victims and putting them on display is a trope used in hundreds of thriller books, but the amount of effort, the detail paid to the process, is what stands out here.There are a couple of flaws with The Sculptor, none of which make the book any less of a great read. First, Funaro's dialogue is very stilted. Granted, for the character of "The Sculptor," it should be so, but for the FBI agent and the art history professor, it doesn't quite work. They just don't talk like real living, breathing characters as much as they do a narrator who is full of himself. There are also places where, instead of taking the reader along for the ride, we are given long, pages-long explanations of what's going on. Also, the ending seems rushed. With the scope of The Sculptor's plans, and with the complex relationships built between the main characters, Funaro could have drawn this story out into a real pot-boiling, slow-burn-style thriller. What we get, however, is a break-neck paced novel with plenty of twists and turns, and a terrifying new "monster" to boot.While The Sculptor isn't perfect, it is an impressive first offering that shows a great deal of potential for Gregory Funaro. It is, all things considered, a great read with enough teeth that readers will be looking forward to his next book, the prequel The Impaler.

I think this is the longest I took to finishing a book. I was busy when Uni started and left off reading it until I had the time. Thus, the very belated review.The title and synopsis of the book really caught my attention. I was expecting some really thrilling and chills-down-my-spine roller coaster ride of a read, but was somehow surprised by its somewhat less suspenseful plot. The murders were horrible of course but I just didn't expect the twisted mind of The Sculptor to be revealed so easily and early. I already sort of knew the killer's mind a quarter into the book and expected a romantic relationship to sprout between SA Sam Markham and Dr. Cathy Hildebrant. I really appreciated the author's thorough research on the life and artistic works of Michaelangelo. Wow, I felt like I was going down the history of memory lane. I really gained lots of knowledge from this crime novel about Michaelangelo. Good work, Mr. Funaro. I didn't really have any problems with this book. The goriness and blood pounding action are rather mild. The action only really started near the end of the book. But what really got me all "WTF?! Ahhhhh!!" was the last scene in the epilogue. Who the effing hell was that muscular statue with a head of curly hair??? I'm so dying to know and it kills me to totally have no clue whatsoever. Damn it!!
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I received this book in a goodreads first reads giveaway. The Sculptor is a mystery book revolving around the mysterious murders that pose the victims as sculptures by Michelangelo. With the help of Cathy, an art historian, Sam must fight to find the sculptor before he kills again. Funaro's novel was an fascinating blend of art history and modern day mystery. I particularly appreciated the research that went into the novel regarding the artwork of Michelangelo. The plot line was quite interesting and kept the reader guessing as to what would happen next. One of the main reasons that I liked this book was the attention to the multiple stories that came together to form the main mystery. Some parts were a bit predictable and I was taken aback by others. Overall it was a good book but I wish some things had been left out of the story line.
Okay, I'm having to amend my original 2-star rating and move it up to 3-- simply because this book has "stayed with me."I originally gave it that rating because I'm not a fan of thrillers generally. But in retrospect, and in good conscience, I had to give Mr. Funaro his due because the book is well-written. He definitely did his homework (in regard to art history and the biology of "plastination"-- I'm very intrigued by the Body Worlds exhibits).While The Sculptor was, indeed, a sick and twisted individual (portions of this book actually made me cringe), some part of me felt horrible for Christian (or the child portion of him) for what he endured and what made him into the monster he became.So, kudos to the author for a) creating a storyline intriguing enough that I would even pick up a thriller and b)keeping me in rapt attention so that I basically read it one sitting.
When I originally read the description for this book, I couldn't help but be intrigued. Dr. Catherine Hildebrant's expertise on the works of Michelangelo puts her side-by-side with Agent Sam Markham as they attempt to catch a killer dubbed "The Michelangelo Killer"/"The Sculptor" since he re-creates the sculptures of the famous artist.Funaro thoroughly develops his characters, which makes the book an easy read. You get to know each character, good and bad, in depth, learning what makes the characters tick as the book progresses. Some of the motivations of 'The Sculptor'/Christian are a bit disturbing, but this only helps to add depth to the character.I look forward to Funaro's sequel, wondering what will happen next to Dr. Catherine Hildebrant and Agent Sam Markham.
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