Book Review – The Art of Secrets by James Klise
October 30, 2014
When Saba Khan’s apartment burns in a mysterious fire, possibly a hate crime, her Chicago high school rallies around her. Her family moves rent-free into a luxury apartment, Saba’s Facebook page explodes, and she starts (secretly) dating a popular boy. Then a quirky piece of art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Saba’s life turns upside down again. Should Saba’s family have all that money? Or should it go to the students who found the art? Or to the school? And just what caused that fire? Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as students and teachers alike debate who should get the money and begin to point fingers and make accusations. The true story of the fire that sets events in motion and what happens afterward gradually comes together in an innovative narrative made up of journal entries, interviews, articles, letters, text messages, and other documents.
I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful, kind, and encouraging James Klise recently (more on that in another post), and I knew after my encounter with him that I would have to read one of his books. I also love that he is from Chicago – there’s something about a local author that makes him or her just a little more special to me.
The Art of Secrets keeps you guessing from start to finish. I was pretty close to the end before I was pretty confident who I knew the suspect was (I did manage to figure it out shortly before it was revealed). If you enjoy a good whodunit, this is an easy read with many great characters that you will enjoy. As you know, I love when the author takes the time to develop strong characters that you either love or love to hate, and Klise excels in this area. Great characters and a plot that is constantly moving – what more can you ask for?
Have you read any books by Klise? Are there any other Chicago area authors that you would recommend? Comment below and let me know what my next read should be!