The Sunday Times reviews recent historical fiction (including the latest from Harry Sidebottom who, despite the ring of his name to the British ear, writes about the wars of ancient Rome, rather than Yorkshire cricket in the 1930s) and has great things to say about my new Caravaggio novel A NAME IN BLOOD. “A NAME IN BLOOD is a lively interpretation of [Caravaggio’s] troubled life and enigmatic end. Rees is good at re-creating the lowlife taverns and bordellos in which Caravaggio expends far too much of his energy, but his greatest strength is his ability to convey the painter’s commitment, despite everything, to his art. The…paradoxes and contradictions of his tempestuous career are adroitly explored.” I’m particularly delighted that Rennison sees my writing about Caravaggio’s art as a strength. After all, the art is why I came to write about his life in the first place, and it will always be the thing that most touches us, even in a novel that tells the story of his final years of life.
- July 24, 2012