The Art of the Assassin

Written by Kevin Sullivan
Review by Julie Parker

This is the second novel by Kevin Sullivan about Juan Cameron, his half-Scottish, half-Spanish photographer hero. After the death of his father and his cousins in Cuba during the revolution of 1899, Juan had travelled to Glasgow, where his mother had lived but had since disappeared. His automatic camera repeat device had helped him catch a serial killer in the Gorbals, and he had also met Jane, a relative of some friends back in Cuba, with whom he had fallen in love and become engaged.

In this second novel, the romance of Juan and Jane continues as they become embroiled in a plot concerning Jane’s Uncle Alan and some Eastern European representatives. Without his timer device, which is away being mended, Juan is asked to take photographs of a murder victim and the room where he was killed by a policeman known to him from the previous book. Again, all the descriptions are forensic in their detail, especially of the interior and exterior architecture. It is another photograph taken at the previous residence of Mr Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) which launches him into danger.

There are exciting scenes at the Theatre Royal, an opera singer and a variety of entertainers whom Juan is persuaded to photograph. Juan’s emotions and ingenuity are tested as the ending of the story sees his future completely altered.