When Ethan Muller, a struggling art dealer, stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a slum building vacated abruptly by an elderly tenant, he almost cannot believe his good luck. The treasure trove of stunning art work is sure to put Ethan in the forefront of the art scene.

But what does anyone know about Victor Cracke, except that he came and went in solitude for nearly forty years, his genius hidden and unacknowledged.

Soon Ethan is caught up in the middle of a mystery, aided by a retired police detective, yet before he can make any significant progress at all, the ailing man who was helping him dies. His daughter picks up the search, with Ethan, but their quest for the whereabouts and history of Cracke and the mysterious life he led, take them into some very strange places.

Meanwhile, the author presents an “interlude” of stories set from the eighteen-hundreds onward, as he weaves in a mysterious subplot about the Muller family that gradually becomes more and more relevant as the secrets are unveiled.

Throughout this tale, too, we are gifted with glimpses of the cutthroat art scene and how the players twist and turn, from clamoring for the work of the hungry artists to lambasting them when the tides turn.

The Genius kept me guessing all the way through until, finally, we have that “a-ha!” moment when everything starts to make sense.

I am giving this book five stars for the clever plot, the intriguing presentation, and this author’s unique voice.


  1. I started reading this, thinking it sounded awfully familiar. Then I realised it was a book I had picked up about a year ago, only over here it is called The Brutal Art. I wonder why they keep changing book names between countries, that is so annoying.


    • Wow! I didn’t realize that. It’s bad enough when so many books are similar enough that every time I read a book flap, I have to ask myself: have I read this already?

      Thanks for stopping by, Vivienne.


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