The Sculptor by Gina Fava was a fast paced, action packed horror novel. I loved how the pacing never seemed to slow down. There was always something going on in this book to help push the story forward.
The story starts off with Mara Silvestri on a flight to Rome where she is attending business school and intends to spread her father’s ashes on the countryside of his childhood home. As I read the story, it was clear that she knew there was a murderer on the loose and murdering students from her new school. My first thought was why in the world would anyone want to go to a school where a murdered is picking off students one by one. But, if she had not gone, then we would have read a much different story.
There were a lot of characters that wove their way in and out of the story. I think that Fava did a pretty good job keeping the characters clear and giving each one a distinctive personality. She achieved this a couple of different ways. I noticed that each character had their own way of speaking or conveying information, some had specific mannerism, and others were called a unique nickname throughout the story. Take Mara’s best friend, Kristen. Kristen always had a pair of cuticle scissors with her, and she was constantly trimming the split ends from her hair. In contrast, Professor Jack Sugardale was always referred to as Signore Jack, and he called every woman he met, little lady.
I enjoyed all the twist and turns as Mara and Jesse tried to uncover who the Sculptor was. I was glad that the murders were known to us and that it was not someone we had not met yet (this is a spoiler if you haven’t read the story) but, there was the twist at the end that let us know that the real Sculptor was still out there. Fava even leaves more clues at the end of the story without telling us who the mastermind is.
Fava had plenty of light-hearted moments through the story that helped to balance all the gruesome murders, which I felt contributed to keeping the story interesting. I would have liked more tension between Mara and Jesse. I felt their relationship went way to fast. At the beginning of the book Mara is attracted to Jesse, then she can’t stand him, and a few pages later she’s kissing him, but I guess that can happen in real life just probably not centered around a murder or a group of murders. Some of the descriptions used to describe the characters were funny. My favorite line was, “She took hold of his arm, impressed by the sheer bulk of his python-like biceps,” (Fava 62). Yes, this is a cheesy line to me, but it was also funny. As we write we are always told to find new ways to describe something that has been described a million times over.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. I like how it was faced paced, and everything that happened pushed the story forward. The twist and turns were fun to navigate in-between all the grotesque murders.