145. Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt

Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

May 7, 2013, First Second, 265 pgs
Age: 18+

"Welcome to the city of Red Wheelbarrow, where the world's greatest detective has yet to meet the crime he can't solve—every criminal in Red Wheelbarrow is caught and convicted thanks to Detective Gould's brilliant mind and cutting-edge spy technology. 
But lately there has been a rash of crimes so eccentric and random that even Detective Gould is stumped. Will he discover the connection between the compulsive chair thief, the novelist who uses purloined street signs to write her magnum opus, and the photographer who secretly documents peoples' most anguished personal moments? Or will Detective Gould finally meet his match? 
Matt Kindt operates with wit and perception in the genre of hard-boiled crime fiction. Red Handed owes as much to Paul Auster as Dashiell Hammett, and raises some genuinely sticky questions about human nature."

Received a review copy from First Second Books.

As soon as I finished the last page, I turned to the beginning and read the book again!  It is even better the second time around!  This is my third book by Kindt and I'm a dedicated fan now.  I love his sketchy, realistic, watercolour art.  Mind MGMT blew me away, but this, wow, this is awesome on a whoooole 'nother level.  An amazing noir detective story, about art on one level and the nature of crime on another.  One is dropped into this story and feels a certain sense of confusion as things are in motion but we, the reader, are not let in on all the details right away.  In fact, they are revealed slowly through the course of the book, through the pictures more than the words.  As the different cases are solved the observant reader will notice they are connected to one another.  I found myself flipping back quite often to find something I recognised but as the book comes to its abrupt and compelling ending it all makes sense and you just have to read it a second time.  The second time through is almost like reading another book because this time you watch for all the clues/coincidences and you understand text that is important to the story that the first time didn't make an impression.  Truly very brilliant!  You must read it a second time to truly appreciate the cleverness of the plot.