The Artist is a new psychological thriller by Cypriot author Angelo Marcos (Photo below).
In a basement cell in the heart of London, a young actress awakens to find herself gagged and strapped to a wooden chair. A voice booms from an unseen speaker, announcing that a timer has been started and that she has fifteen minutes – to do what she does not know. As the voice reverberates around the cell and echoes into nothingness, the woman tenses her muscles, her wrists bleeding as she tries in vain to loosen the restraints. Precisely fifteen minutes later, a bullet rips through her head.
And so begins the story of The Artist.
The recording of the murder is sent to the media, and it soon becomes apparent that a serial killer known as Andy the Artist is operating in London. The Artist forces the young actresses into a perverse trade off – they acquire Andy Warhol’s prophesied fifteen minutes of fame, but that time will consist of the last few minutes of their lives.
Meanwhile, 14 year old Kaylin Bellos lives in London with her mum Kimberley, a struggling actress who has resorted to prostitution to pay the bills, resulting in the current situation – her daughter having to hide at her friend’s house every time her mum is ‘working’. One night, Kaylin discovers that a man is murdering actresses all over the city and becomes increasingly concerned about her mum.
As more women are slaughtered, it seems there is much that Kaylin and The Artist have in common. Could The Artist be Kaylin’s dad? If so, what does that mean for the fate of her mum?
And why is Kaylin being followed to school?
The book ends with the killer being unmasked, as two huge plot twists are revealed. The second twist – in the penultimate chapter – is similar to ‘Shutter Island’ in that it causes the reader to reconsider a number of events in the book.
It’s a tense psychological thriller more than a conventional crime novel, with the emphasis on how the murders effect the main characters rather than, for instance, following a detective trying to track down a killer.
Available from Amazon, The Artist is a real page turner, with twists that will stun you.
Angelo Marcos is a writer, comedian and actor, and a graduate of both law and psychology.
He has performed stand-up comedy all over the UK, and has acted in numerous short films and theatrical productions.
He co-wrote the musical ‘Love and Marriage’ which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival, and his articles and short stories have been published both online and in print.