by Michael White
In all his years on the force, Detective Chief Inspector Pendragon had never seen a corpse like this one. After the initial horror, he recognized the reference to the surrealist painter, Magritte. But that made the crime even more sickening - accomplished, as it had been, with a sickening ferocity which placed it in another league from common or garden homicide.
In the Whitechapel area of London in the 1880s, a person, who remains unidentified to this day, committed a series of sadistic murders of local prostitutes, which involved elaborate mutilation of the victims' bodies.
Although the contemporary crimes are not directed exclusively at female targets, there is grotesque similarity in the mindset of the two perpetrators - divided, as they are, by more than a century.
But Pendragon is determined that his pathologically brilliant killer will not escape detection.
THE ART OF MURDER reveals Michael White's mastery of a crime genre that he is making uniquely his own.