This is a fine example of the caper comedy. We have the good guys and the bad guys but lots of in-between guys as well.
The story takes place in Nantes on the west coast of France. Mike, a stuck up middle class, pretentious, out of work Irish Catholic shares an apartment with a French homosexual artist, an ex crack addict called Harold, (they are a modern version of the Odd Couple).
Mike falls in love with one of Harold’s (female) artist friends, and tells her he’s an artist too, in order to seem more interesting. He offers her a painting and she accepts, inviting him to dinner. Mike has to find a painting he can call his own. In their building is another Irishman (Gus), who claims to be an artist, but is actually on the run from the IRA. He looks quite like Mike, he sells him a painting and some of his “arty” looking, paint stained denims, so Mike can really look the part with the new love of his life. Then Gus disappears, leaving Mike the keys to his apartment.
A hit man (Hugo) arrives to kill Mike, thinking he is Gus. They sort that problem out and then Harold wants to hire Hugo to kill his parents so he can inherit their Chateau and spend his days painting and entertaining. In order to pay the hit man he is going to forge an original Miro painting which the man upstairs, Dr. Von Stormm is minding for a friend who now wants the painting back. The Doctor wants to give his friend the forgery done by Harold and sell the original in Paris for two million Euro.
Hugo had been to Nantes a year before to exterminate the owner of a sexy girl nightclub. The murder was unsolved, but unknown to Hugo; somebody in Mike’s building has recognised him from his last visit to Nantes and has notified the family of the nightclub owner.
Mike saves Hugo’s life when another hit man, sent by the grieving nightclub family, comes to get Hugo.
Also in the building is Maurice, whose wife has just run away with his boss. He decides he is going to kill them both, but may not be up to it himself (as he’s an accountant!!), and may have to take out a contract with Hugo to do the job.
Then Tifaine, the beautiful artist that Mike is trying to seduce decides she’d like to have her father killed in revenge for the death of her mother.
AND SO ON!!!…………..until the nail biting dénouement.
This really is A good fun read that treads a path somewhere between The Pink Panther and In Bruges.
The Full Stop Artist is published by Mirador Publishing who seem to be making a name for themselves by successfully launching quality new authors.
Mike O’Reilly Kennedy can be contacted through his publishers at www.miradorpublishing.com