by Russell James
Russell James was Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association 2001-2002
Painting in the Dark is Russell James’s most controversial book to date – a modern crime novel that also explores some of the darkest secrets of our recent history.
An unscrupulous art dealer, the gargantuan Gottfleisch, believes that 85-year- old Sidonie Keene is hiding a small hoard of her notorious sister Naomi’s valuable paintings. Naomi was a British Nazi in the 1930s, a friend of Goering and Hitler, she spent her war years in Germany. Denounced as a traitor after Allied victory, she was a forgotten artist when she died. But in death Naomi’s intimate portraits of Hitler and his inner circle became collectors’ items, rarely on the market, and commanding astronomical prices. Gottfleisch and his unprincipled assistant Ticky set out to steal the paintings from the old lady, little realising that there is more to Sidonie than meets the eye.
Painting in the Dark leaps back and forth in time, revealing unexpected, uncomfortable views of Britain, Germany and America and their attitudes to the Nazis. In Painting in the Dark Russell James redefines the scope of the modern crime novel.
Critical acclaim for Russell James:
‘One of Britainÿs best noir writers’ – Andrew Taylor, Tangled Web
‘Russell James is surely the best of Britainÿs darker crime writers’ – Chris Petit, The Times
Read an extract from Painting in the Dark