Cover image for The artist's proof
The artist's proof
Cotler, Gordon.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
263 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Sid Shale retired from the NYPD to life in a Long Island village where the worst criminal is a bicycle thief and Sid's biggest responsibility is to his own dream: to be an artist.

Then a girl is murdered, and soon everyone from the inexperienced cops to the girl's mother knows that she'd modeled for Sid -- au naturel. Naturally, he becomes suspect number one.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cotler (Prime Candidate, etc.) proffers a laid-back and listless introduction to a series sleuth, a retired NYC cop who has retreated to a sleepy Long Island town to paint. With a city pension and some artistic talent, Sid Shale lives in a tiny beach house with his brushes and what even he admits is a self-indulgently huge canvas to fill up. Sid's tranquil existence is shattered with the death of a teenage girl, Cassie Brennan. Cassie dies in the swank beach house of restaurateur and likely tax dodger Misha Sharanov. One of Sid's originals hangs on a wall in Sharanov's house, and nude sketches of Cassie soon implicate Sid in the girl's murder. Series starters are by nature often reduced to a narrative crawl by the need to establish character, and this is no exception. Furthermore, Cotler doesn't seem sure exactly how saintly he wants his lead character to be. Along for the ride are Sid's ex-wife, Lonnie, now the owner of an art gallery; their daughter, Sarah, whose college plans require Sid to sell a lot of paintings; a Texas couple who are shaking Sharanov down; Sharanov's unhappy wife; and Cassie's unhappy boyfriend. The languid pace leaves most of these figures thumbnail sketches, while the overambitious conclusion unconvincingly solves three mysteries. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Sid Shale, a fortyish ex-cop who is amicably divorced from his gallery-owner wife, spends his time innocently enough painting pictures on Long Island. When someone murders a 16-year-old girl in the fancy beach house next door, however, a cop with a chip on his shoulder blames Shale‘who just happened to have employed the girl once as a nude model. Shale investigates in self-defense, looking especially at the murky background of the Russian neighbor who hired her as a maid. Sturdy prose, pointed observation, subtle wit, and a fine sense of place should make this new series start a popular choice. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.