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The Incomplete Artist by Philip Wyeth


The Incomplete Artist explores the arts and artists in a future world where many human functions have been outsourced to robots.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

But the way he looked at my sculpture that night… I knew he’d lost all hope for me as a serious artist. He pitied me instead.”

Philip Wyeth. The Incomplete Artist (Kindle Locations 2733-2734)
Book Cover of The Incomplete Artist by Philip Wyeth.

Philip Wyeth writes speculative stories exploring what happens when people get everything they want – politically, socially, and technologically.

He entertains with relatable characters, outrageous spectacles, and high-concept ideas.

Philip Wyeth are inspired by writers such as Heinrich von Kleist, Joseph Conrad, Len Deighton, etc. Fans of Harry Harrison, George Orwell, Neal Stephenson, etc., will enjoy his novels. 

He is also the author of other novels such as Never Enough Zeroes and the Reparations series.

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The Ashley Westgard series start with Hot Ash and the Oasis Defect, followed by The Incomplete Artist, published in March 2021.

The Incomplete ArtistJoin us on the tour!

A Blackthorn Book Tour of The Incomplete Artist by Philip Wyeth

The Incomplete Artist – Summary

Ashley Westgard – or Ash as she likes to be known – is a detective in the Jacksonville Police Corps. When attending a law enforcement charity event, she meets the charismatic Thomas Templeton. It is why she now finds herself at his arm, attending an artist ball – hosted by Movement 24 – at the Muir Gallery.

Put Ash soon finds herself back in her role as a detective when Stanley Bennett is found brutally murdered. With all the guests prohibited from leaving, Ash has to figure out who the killer is.

What did I like? 

The Message

The Incomplete Artist is a futuristic novel placed in the year 2045. Art as we know it has ceased to exist. Since many things are now done by robots, any famous artwork from the past can be reproduced with 100% accuracy. 

Also Read:  Killing Dragons by Kristie Clark

But is it truly art if there is no creativity and robots reproduces famous artworks from the past? It is the question at the heart of The Incomplete Artist.

Movement 24 is the soul child of Carmella Edelweiss, and its aim is to push back against robots in the art world. Their signature moves it to leave all their artworks unfinished since no robot can stop before completing what they are programmed to do. 

“Consider,” the woman said patiently, “how the deliberately unfinished work can only be accomplished by a human being. No painting machine would ever think to stop before the programmed task was complete. So whenever you catch sight of an empty space or truncated appendage tonight, understand that this detail is a flag raised boldly in defense of the species itself.”

Philip Wyeth. The Incomplete Artist (Kindle Locations 237-240)

The Murder

Philip Wyeth creates an Agatha Christie-style closed-room murder in The Incomplete Artist. Detective Ash is in attendance during the event, and she now is responsible for finding the culprit between the guest contained in the gallery. 

I love the challenge Philip Wyeth creates for Ash, with the lack of video footage in the gallery itself. Thus she has to rely on witness interviews and video footage from the guest and outside the gallery to piece together the sequence of events leading to the murder. 

And not so much?

The Incomplete Artist is low on action for a crime novel. There are only a few action scenes, and the narrative focuses mainly on exploring art in 2045 – real art created by humans instead of robots’ reproductions. 

Should you read The Incomplete Artist

The Incomplete Artist is not a book for fans of action-packed novels. But neither is it intended to be. It aims to explore the arts and artists -who they are, their motivations, conflict, and competition in the art world, as a background to solving the murder of Stanley Bennett.

Also Read:  Diamond Blood by Eric Danhoff

Overall, I did find The Incomplete Artist an enjoyable read with an intriguing premise. The dialogue-driven narrative will keep you reading as Ash questions various artists to learn more about the art world and the artist’s psyche.

Please read my review of The Doomsday MedallionRighteous Assassin, and Choice Cruise Lines for other crime novels.

Imagine living in 2045, when art has been reduced to reproducing artworks by robots. Would you join Movement 24 as pushback or follow Martha’s route – to lead the next phase of artistry by influencing the robots? We would love to hear from you. Would you please reply in the comments?

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Book Info



Print Length

216 pages 

Publication Date: 

12 March 2021

Text-to-Speech | Screen Reader | Enhanced Typesetting | Word Wise

Categories: Procedurals | Women Sleuths 

Trigger Warnings: Violence | murder

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Hi! I am Susan

Welcome to my adventure

Why Read or Rot?

I have started reading at the age of four. I can remember how I often read under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to sleep.

During my early school years, we visited the library once a week. I couldn’t pick out my new book fast enough! By the end of the period, I would have finished it already, leaving me with nothing to read for the rest of the week!

Growing up, Fridays was the highlight of my week. Dad would pack the whole family into the car, and off we go! You guessed right – to the library! We were a family of readers.

In my adult years, I’ve developed a variety of interests like technology, photography, gardening and even writing. But reading was and will always be a part of my life!

Reading for me is like breathing. If I cannot read, my soul will quietly rot away

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