The Empress of Tempera
Diversion Books, 2016
Paire Anjou came to New York to be an artist, but thus far has
only achieved an artist boyfriend—the enfant terrible of the art
world, Derek Rosewood. On her way to his show, where his
controversial paintings will be on display, Paire sees an older
man on the sidewalk, looking into the window of the Fern
Gallery, gazing intently at a painting, and sobbing. As Paire
approaches him, the man stabs himself in the chest.
The painting that inspired the suicide is a one-off for the
gallery—the last-known surviving work of a dissident Chinese
artist named Qi. An empress, dressed in red, sits imperiously
and stares out at the viewer. Paire is but one of the people
who stare back, joined by hundreds, from around the world,
fl ocking to the Fern Gallery to observe and obsess over the
Empress. The Empress inspires lust and panic, rage and greed.
When Paire starts digging into the backstory of the painting,
and its artist, she unravels a tale of profound betrayal and a
vengeance that spans generations.
She also sets in motion the painting’s final heist, a swirling
morass of bribery, theft, and murder, drawing Paire deeper and
deeper into the underside of the art world, where the greatest
works inspire the most vicious of crimes.
Praise for The Empress of Tempera
"Dolan's intiguing sophomore effort probes the value and meaning of art while spinning the troubled backstories of Paire and Qi."
"A mysterious painting, dark family secrets, and a decades-old vendetta intertwine in Alex Dolan’s lush art-world thriller, The Empress of Tempera. An engrossing and fascinating tale with a shocking conclusion that I didn’t see coming.”
—Laura McHugh, award-winning author of The Weight of Blood and Arrowood
"Art can be seductive, powerful, transformative. It can also tempt, lie, destroy. Alex Dolan's gripping The Empress of Tempera reveals the dark side of beauty through a story of knife-sharp suspense full of wicked surprises."
—Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Demonologist and The Damned
"From the first page till the last, I was mesmerized by this novel. Much like watching a painter, each stroke is a joy to watch, the full image coming into focus at the moment you least expect it. With a fascinating cast, rich backstory, and page-turning action—I couldn't put this book down.”
—Alessandra Torre, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl in 6E
"Alex Dolan’s amazing literary thriller, The Empress of Tempera is edgy, smart, and full of twists that left me gasping. Incredibly vivid, totally engrossing—I highly recommend this book.”
—Jennifer Kincheloe, author of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
"Alex Dolan has written a genuine page-turner, with invention and audacity befitting the New York art world. The Empress of Tempera pounces on the reader and never lets them go."
—Christopher J. Yates, author of Black Chalk
Diversion Books, 2015
A young woman helps to end the lives of people with terminal diseases, her reasons her own. When she helps the wrong person, her journey will make her question everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And the last life she ends may be her own.
They know her as Kali. She is there to see them off into the afterlife with kindness, with efficiency, and with two needles. She’s been a part of the right-to-die movement for years, an integral member, complicit in the deaths of twenty-seven men and women, all suffering from terminal illnesses.
And she just helped the wrong patient.
Praise for The Euthanist
"[An] action-packed story...arriving with eerily uncanny timing, Alex Dolan's debut novel, "The Euthanist" tackles the prickly topic of death with dignity."
"Alex Dolan makes an engrossing debut with THE EUTHANIST. He writes a riveting and imaginative narrative as he deftly enhances a currently relevant plot with vivid characterization. Dolan hooks readers from the very start, ratcheting up the tension and suspense until the shocking ending. As a thriller writer, Alex Dolan is set to be one of the best."
"In one of the most promising debuts since Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects and Alice Blanchard’s Darkness Peering, The Euthanist strikes like a suckerpunch and never lets up. Seriously, this book is freakin’ relentless."
"The biggest page turner of the year."
"Alex Dolan has written a superb first novel, meeting head-on two of the twin problems of present-day society...the reader is reduced to just having to read another chapter…….and another……. and the plot just keeps on getting thicker and thicker."
"Alex Dolan's THE EUTHANIST grabbed me from the first page and showed no signs of letting go. Dark and sinewy, topical and timeless, laced with rich characterization and gallows humor, it showcases Dolan as a thriller writer to watch and follow."
"Fast, fierce, complex and compassionate, THE EUTHANIST is an extraordinary performance from a writer full of both fire and heart."
—Scott O'Connor, author of Half World and Untouchable
"THE EUTHANIST grabs and doesn't let go. But it's much more than a brilliant debut thriller. Dolan's mile-a-minute story also gets at one of our species most important issues—can we choose how to die? Forget that I couldn't put it down; I couldn't stop thinking about it after I did."
—Dylan Schaffer, author of Misdemeanor Man
"Reading Alex Dolan's THE EUTHANIST is like cutting open a pearl; you negotiate through well crafted layers to get to the dirty little secret that put it all in motion."
—Robert Pobi, author of Bloodman and American Woman
"The heroine of Alex Dolan’s THE EUTHANIST is a sharp-tongued, take-no-prisoners kind of gal who had me gripped from page one. Dolan writes dialogue that’s snappy and darkly witty. Imaginative and riveting, The Euthanist is a one-of-kind novel that will leave readers staying up late and longing for more."
—Renee Swindle, author of A Pinch of Ooh La La
"Daring and original, Alex Dolan’s evocative prose takes you on a wild ride with an unforgettable (and literal) femme fatal. A lethal mix of beauty, physical prowess, compassion and a touch of freakiness, the character Kali stays with you long after you finish this compelling debut novel."
"In THE EUTHANIST Alex Dolan gives readers a tension-filled roller-coaster of a story with a compelling, complicated and feisty female lead. It's a stylishly written tale that grabs you quick and keeps you reading. Rich, socially relevant and entertaining, it's a vivid page-turner."
—Elaine Beale, author of Another Life Altogether