Painting Death

A Novel

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About The Book

Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way into a wealthy Italian family, he has become a respected member of Veronese business life. But it’s not enough.

Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, he comes up with a plan to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing. All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel, to Brutus and Caesar. But as Morris meets stiff resistance from the director of Verona’s Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel around him. His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her aging confessor, and, worst of all, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around him, and the skeletons rattling in every closet. The shame of it is that Morris Arthur Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again. Tim Parks’ acclaimed Duckworth trilogy has been thirty years in the making. In Painting Death, he brings it—and his serial-killer alter ego—to a very fitting—and very funny—end.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Arcade (October 6, 2015)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628725933

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Raves and Reviews

“Duckworth is a worthy heir to a tradition of seductive, cultured literary monsters that include Humbert Humbert [and] Hannibal Lecter.”—Sunday Times

"Hovering adroitly between tragedy and farce . . . a good novel to savour by the pool in Tuscany this summer."—Times (London)

"Neatly written, full of calamitous moments in which the comedy is suddenly elbowed aside by genuine emotion."—Spectator

"One to relish . . . sharp, funny and satirical, with a wonderfully overblown ending."—Guardian

“This is a fiendishly clever pitch-black comedy — if not a work of art then a supremely diverting caper.” —The Australian

“Painting Death is a book that questions the idea of murder as entertainment while also making murder entertaining. It's supposed to make us squirm and it does.”—Herald Scotland

“Parks is at his strongest depicting the art world and its intrigues and intellectual snobbery.”—Financial Times

"In this final chapter of the Morris Duckworth trilogy . . . Think Patricia Highsmith meets Jeff Lindsay . . . as Duckworth's voice provides a strong dose of humor." —Booklist

"Admirers of Parks’s mainstream fiction should enjoy this black comedy." —Publishers Weekly

“Colorful, often amusing, intermittently suspenseful . . . Parks uses the museum intrigue to draw, as he has done in his more serious efforts, a vivid, impressionistic portrait of contemporary Italy.” —The New York Times

“Duckworth is a worthy heir to a tradition of seductive, cultured literary monsters that include Humbert Humbert [and] Hannibal Lecter.”—Sunday Times

"Hovering adroitly between tragedy and farce . . . a good novel to savour by the pool in Tuscany this summer."—Times (London)

"Neatly written, full of calamitous moments in which the comedy is suddenly elbowed aside by genuine emotion."—Spectator

"One to relish . . . sharp, funny and satirical, with a wonderfully overblown ending."—Guardian

“This is a fiendishly clever pitch-black comedy — if not a work of art then a supremely diverting caper.” —The Australian

“Painting Death is a book that questions the idea of murder as entertainment while also making murder entertaining. It's supposed to make us squirm and it does.”—Herald Scotland

“Parks is at his strongest depicting the art world and its intrigues and intellectual snobbery.”—Financial Times

"In this final chapter of the Morris Duckworth trilogy . . . Think Patricia Highsmith meets Jeff Lindsay . . . as Duckworth's voice provides a strong dose of humor." —Booklist

"Admirers of Parks’s mainstream fiction should enjoy this black comedy." —Publishers Weekly

“Colorful, often amusing, intermittently suspenseful . . . Parks uses the museum intrigue to draw, as he has done in his more serious efforts, a vivid, impressionistic portrait of contemporary Italy.” —The New York Times

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