Author Craig McDonald

Pages: 394





Hector Lassiter is a crime novelist who writes what he lives and lives what he writes. But Hector goes astep beyond: frequently forcing those around him into the tawdry and turbulent territory of his crime stories and novels. In Toros & Torsos, Hector meets his match in the person of a mysterious killer committed to the craft of murder: a blood-thirsty provocateur who leaves a string of increasingly macabre, homicidal tableaus modeled after seminal works of surrealist art. This startling novel takes it cue from all-too-real recent scholarship postulating the existence of a dark underground of misogynistic and possibly homicidal surrealist artists, photographers and art collectors that flourished in Europe and United States through most of the Twentieth Century. Toros & Torsos pits Lassiter against the ultimate performance artist in a duel to the death extending across three decades and three continents. The novel is set against the vivid backdrops of a killer hurricane that nearly destroyed the Florida Keys in 1935, the Spanish Civil War, post-war Los Angeles and the final days of the Batista regime in Cuba. This wildly original noir saga also boasts a cast of characters including Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Man Ray, Salvador Dali and John Huston. In a blood-limned haze of deception, murderous metaphor and devastating betrayal, nothing is what it seems and obsession and creativity collide in a wicked and unexpected climax that shakes the art world to its foundations. Life imitating art… art imitating death, and for some, it isn’t truly art until somebody dies.


Nothing short of a surrealistic masterwork.”  —Chicago Tribune

A bold, ambitious, genre-bending novel from the talented Craig McDonald.”   —George Pelecanos

McDonald’s imaginative tale takes an enjoyably different approach to art and murder.” —Publishers Weekly

Crime writer and ladies’ man Hector Lassiter (Head Games) makes a return appearance in McDonald’s outstanding second series effort. McDonald wows with his writing, which seems effortless despite using many voices, and his book will keep readers rapt.”   —Library Journal

One captivating read.”  —Mystery Scene Review

In TOROS & TORSOS Craig McDonald takes pop culture, real people and invented action to create a powerful novel of suspense. It gives one the slippery sensation of time-travelling with characters you’d always wished you could meet and suddenly you can. McDonald is knowing and artful, and the suspense pushes at a lovely pace until it starts to stomp like Hemingway on an empty bota.”   —Daniel Woodrell

In his lush, sprawling second novel, Toros & Torsos, Craig McDonald draws together both the timeliest markers of mid-century America—modernism, surrealism, film noir, pulp fiction, communism—and the eternal touchstones of classic crime literature—desire, chaos, obsession and loss. It is a bold, bloody landscape, but McDonald never lets its scale become so big that we lose sight of the lively characters at its dark center. Wily and wistful Hector Lassiter, a complicated, rueful and haunted Ernest Hemingway and dozens more draw us close to their chests, anchor us, win our favor and, in the end, break our hearts.”  —Megan Abbot

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