Painting by Numbers


Fiction - Thriller - General
332 Pages
Reviewed on 07/14/2013
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ioana Marza for Readers' Favorite

Tom Gillespie's Painting by Numbers is an intricate and elaborate illusion masterfully created to wrap around an ultimately classic plot. Dr. Boyce is a lecturer in Earth Sciences at Glasgow University who becomes obsessed with studying a lesser known baroque painting at the local museum. He believes the painting holds the key to explain phenomena outside art, like seismological movements. His wife Ella is increasingly displeased with this obsession that consumes him and endangers the normality of everything else in his life - his job and his marriage. One day Ella disappears and Boyce sets out in a quest to find her which takes him to Spain and to encounters with a multitude of strange characters that all somehow hold pieces of the puzzle relating back to the painting. And that's where reality starts to get more and more bizarre. And dark.

Gillespie's craftsmanship and command of language are undeniable. He carries what could have become a heavy, muddled scientific explanation with clarity and credibility. His knowledge of baroque is real. Painting by Numbers is very visual, prone to cinematographic adaptation - like a more art-based Vanilla Sky. I was mildly disappointed with the ending but, in hindsight, it brings the story down to earth from a point where the reader might start thinking the whole concept is getting overly surreal. I read it compulsively not just to find out what happens next, but because I enjoyed the descriptions, the art, the ambiguity; Gillespie's writing.