Book of the Day


The Black Painting

By Neil Olson

Hanover Square Press
ISBN 978-1335953810
Publication Date:  January 9, 2018

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The Black Painting

Review by E.J. Boyd

The Morse family has skeletons in their closet and ghosts on their wall.  Well, they HAD a ghost on their wall.  The Black Painting by Neil Olson is the devilishly clever tale of the theft of an original Francisco Goya–specifically, one of the paintings that belonged to the collection known as the Black Paintings, believed to be haunted by demons. The theft occurred over a decade before and marked the beginning of years of tragedy and family discord.  Following the death of the grandfather (and original owner of the painting), the family is brought back together.  Certain that the thief is among them, a private investigator is secretly hired to solve the mystery. 

Neil Olson has created a classic “whodunit” with all of the bells and whistles.  A wealthy family plagued with problems, the theft of a priceless work of art and a wisecracking private eye to put all the pieces together.  By incorporating the historically infamous collection of haunted artwork by Goya, he introduces a credible supernatural element that is already part of the collective conscious.  For those familiar with the Goya legend, this is an irresistible lure. 

Fast-paced and completely mesmerizing, The Black Painting is sure to be a favorite with fans of the psychological thriller genre.  It is like blending Agatha Christie, Dan Brown and a bit of Stephen King all together.  It has been over a decade since Olson’s last novel, The Icon, but it has been well worth the wait.