Book review: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

Caidyn's review (1)

Still Lives

1/5 – DNF at pg. 234 (85%)

TW: mentions of graphic crimes against women and murder

Well, here we are. Another DNF review from me. And I was so sure that I would like this book!

The basic premise of this is that Kim Lord is an artist. She exploits people for her exhibits. This time, she exploits women who were murdered in horrible crimes. Nicole Brown Simpson, The Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, and many others. The night that her exhibit is supposed to open, she never shows up.

It’s told from the perspective of Maggie Richter. Her ex-boyfriend, Greg, dumped her for Kim. Of course, he comes under suspicion. (Like all smart cops do. Look at the person closest.) The tension mounts as she doesn’t show up and isn’t found.

But, the story is so boring.

There was no tension. There was no intrigue. It felt, well, pretentious. I get that the art world is pretentious. Don’t get me wrong there. Modern art is some of the most pretentious shit in the world and I studied it in a class. Never again. But I don’t want my book pretentious. I could care less about an author infodumping about art and murder victims and musing about how this fictional art means something.

It didn’t help that Maggie was the most boring sop of a woman I have met in a book. Well, that’s a lie. Just none are coming to mind right now. It felt like she was constantly like “Woe is me! Poor me! Poor everyone!” She was constantly in some pity party and I got bored with her.

None of the other characters were interesting either. I nearly finished the book and I still couldn’t keep the characters straight. The people driving the mystery were all interchangeable. They never jumped off the page as real people for me.

The plot also wasn’t interesting. Things dragged on, as I said. It kept going and going and I was tired of waiting for something to happen. It took 85% of the book to get to musing about who did it. Far too long and too late to get my attention.

Now, I love true crime. I love reading about it, hearing about it. As I’m writing this review, I’m watching The Killing Season which is about The Long Island Serial Killer. I’m also thinking about listening to an episode of My Favorite Murder. I know all about these crimes. And this book seemed to be a lot about art of famous murder victims and not enough about the actual crime in the book.

Definitely not for me. I don’t even know how to end this book on a good note because it was such a disappointment.


Talk to me!
Have you read a book that was the exact opposite than it was described?
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR?

10 thoughts on “Book review: Still Lives by Maria Hummel

  1. Pingback: July Wrap-up – BW Reviews

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