I am delighted to share my thoughts on Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter. I would like to thank the lovely people at Run Amok Books for my review copy and apologise for not getting this post wrote up sooner!
Let me tell you what it’s about…
In 2004, masked thieves stole Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from an Oslo museum. Norwegian police recovered the painting two years later but never explained how or where they had found it. Stealing The Scream examines/re-imagines the event, offering a tantalising account of what happened through fictional characters, Percival Davenport, an artist whose obsession with Munch leads him to steal “The Scream” and Leonard, a museum security guard and amateur sleuth, whose interest in Davenport’s art leads him and the police to the artist’s door, setting up a tense climax and a satisfying if unexpected ending to the story.
The author has used the theft of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting as the basis for his story. He has then created and wrapped a fictionalised story around it, and what a great story it is too!
Starting with the theft of the painting in 2004, the author then goes back in time 2001. From then he gradually introduces the reader to Percival Deavenport, a soon to retire CEO who, with plenty of tie and money on his hands decides to return to his love of painting. This provides a link to the art world and also starts an intriguing storyline that then brings the reader up to events of theft and after.
I really liked the writing style and he has a very easy to follow flow that I found quite addictive. I liked his approach to the theft and it felt very coy. By this I mean that he has taken several steps to distance his characters from the theft, it is not until later in the story he gradually tip-toes them closer. By this point a lot has already happened to Percival in his personal life and his changes are rather strange and it makes for an almost unsettling glimpse into his character.
Percival has a right-hand woman in the form of Lucinda and she is responsible for keeping an eye on him, this is far easier said than done. Also joining them are Will, Leonard and Red. These additional characters have very different roles and their role size varies. For me they were good stable characters who are able to keep Percival grounded, well they do until later in the book.
This story had quite a few surprises tucked within its pages. It is one of those stories that is almost quiet, it sits simmering gently and then it gradually starts brewing with intrigue and suspicion and the tempo and pacing is upped until the arrival at the surprising end section of the book.
This is a book that sounded intriguing and was one that I thought “Yeah! I might like this!”and I’m so glad I picked it because it very quickly became hard to put down and was such an unexpected and wonderful read.
Its a story that has crime and mystery and also leans towards the contemporary fiction style because of the dynamic that is involved with Percival. This gets a Definitely Recommended from me, thoroughly enjoyable and addictive reading.
Theodore Carter is the author of The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob and Other Matters of Importance (Queens Ferry Press, 2012), Frida Kahlo Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions, and Stealing ‘The Scream’ (Run Amok Books, 2019).
His fiction runs the gamut from humor, to literary fiction, to horror. He’s appeared in several magazines and anthologies including The North American Review, Pank, Necessary Fiction, A capella Zoo, The Potomac Review, and Gargoyle.
His street art projects, which began as book promotion stunts, have garnered attention from several local news outlets including NBC4 Washington, Fox5 DC, and the Washington City Paper.
Carter lives just outside Washington, DC in Takoma Park, MD.
Many thanks for reading my post:) xx