The Portrait Painter

The Portrait Painter

Mind-reading is dangerous. Telling people what you see can prove fatal.

Justin Gates is the Portrait Painter. He studies people’s faces for a living. Sometimes he sees behind their eyes, inside their minds, discovering things even they cannot see. Things about the future.

Handling such insights isn’t easy. It often leads to trouble. Imagine knowing that a certain airplane is going to crash, or an entire city is to be wiped out. Should you warn people? Will they believe you? What happens if they don’t? Might they turn against you? If so, how?

Could you tell an investor that he is going bankrupt? An accused terrorist that he will be found guilty? A President that he is going to lose an election?

Justin faces all these issues, and more, in this tale of a child who grows up into a man and learns to live with the gift of seeing tomorrow. But there are two futures he cannot see: those of himself and the woman he loves.

Available in Kindle and Paperback editions

Cover art by Mara Lea Brown // Book Cover Design by Heather Bodlak

Reviews

Thomas M. Terry
Thomas M. Terry
2023-08-06
A great read about a fascinating "what if?" Imagine yourself having a sudden premonition about something about to happen to someone you know: maybe you see the person dying, or having some serious accident... The feeling is so strong that you think it must be true, without pondering how you could possibly know about a future event. What would you do? Would you try to tell someone? Would they believe you? Would it change things?This is the starting premise of "The Portrait Painter" by Fraser Oz. It follows Justin starting as a young boy who occasionally has such premonitions, through his growing up and young adult life. I was hooked from the start by the unexpected twists and turns that accompany Justin's attempts to act on his premonitions, with so many obstacles arising to be dealt with.The characters were well developed and believable, and I couldn't help rooting for Justin to find some way of living a "normal" life despite his odd ability. I loved watching him develop his love and talent for painting, and the way this grounded him and gave him an ability to relate profoundly to people through his uncanny abilities as a portrait painter. The author has a good empathy for the craft of the painter!The book often became page turner that I couldn't put down for long stretches. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read about a fascinating idea turned into a tale well told.
Don Bertram
Don Bertram
2023-03-03
AMAZING READ Surely at some point and time you have picked up a book that you knew nothing about and it turned out to be a gem of a read....Those little surprises are always unforgettable treats.Well treat yourself to this book for that is exactly what it is!Congratulations Fraser Oz!
S M Francis
S M Francis
2022-11-30
A superb book in every way. It usually takes me weeks to read a book, finding time between my other interests to fit in time for reading.Not so The Portrait Painter by Fraser Oz. It is captivating in every chapter. The chapter that really wrenches my heart strings is story about Sophie. It is truly beautiful!As for the actual book itself, the layout is easy on the eye with spaces between the paragraphs, and the pages stay open, unlike so many other books where you have a fight to consistently hold the book open.This is a highly recommended read.How about a sequel, David?
Joan Fallon
Joan Fallon
2022-11-05
A psychological novel which captures your attention to the very end. In his introduction to The Portrait Painter, Fraser Oz quotes Goldy Hawn as saying 'You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it,' and that is the essence of this fascinating psychological novel. It is the story of a young man, Justin, who has the unusual ability of being able to see into the future but, as he constantly tells people, although he can see a person's future, he cannot control it.His mother, a single parent with no current relationship, became aware of her son's gift when he told her she was about to have a baby, his new sister. He was four years old at the time. By the time he was an adult, his ability had become more of a liability for him and those around him, than an asset and as his fame spread so did the risks to his own peace of mind. As an escape he began to devote more and more of his time to painting, especially portraits, but this close contact with the people he painted only led to a greater understanding of what his psychic abilities really meant and the risks involved in disclosing them.Fraser Oz's descriptions of his characters and locations are detailed and fascinating. The reader soon gets to know Justin and empathise with his dilemma; he has a gift he cannot control and is no longer sure that it is wise to share his previews—as he calls them—with other people.The book concludes with an exciting climax in which he begins to appreciate the true value of the gift he has been given. This is a psychological novel which captures your attention to the very end. I look forward to reading Fraser Oz's next novel.
P. D. Ritherdon
P. D. Ritherdon
2022-08-13
What a read. After getting to grips with the theme of 'visions' I found this a fascinating book. I had to keep reading as I was never able to forecast what was coming next. It kept me gripped to the end.Suspend any cynicism and read itI look forward to a future book featuring the Portrait Painter.
TBoy
TBoy
2022-06-19
A good read I enjoyed this book very much. I hope to see more challenges for Justin Gates in future books. I like that his visions are honest and cannot be called on at a whim.
karen dunford
karen dunford
2022-06-04
Absolutely riveting This book had me gripped from the very beginning and it just got better and better. I was up half the night to finish it! Well written, absorbing subject matter. More please!
More:
THE PORTRAIT PAINTER by FRASER OZ In his introduction to The Portrait Painter, Fraser Oz quotes Goldy Hawn as saying 'You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it,' and that is the essence of this fascinating psychological novel. It is the story of a young man, Justin, who has the unusual ability of being able to see into the future but, as he constantly tells people, although he can see a person's future, he cannot control it. His mother, a single parent with no current relationship, became aware of her son's gift when he told her she was about to have a baby, his new sister. He was four years old at the time. By the time he was an adult, his ability had become more of a liability for him and those around him, than an asset and as his fame spread so did the risks to his own peace of mind. As an escape he began to devote more and more of his time to painting, especially portraits, but this close contact with the people he painted only led to a greater understanding of what his psychic abilities really meant and the risks involved in disclosing them. Fraser Oz's descriptions of his characters and locations are detailed and fascinating. The reader soon gets to know Justin and empathise with his dilemma; he has a gift he cannot control and is no longer sure that it is wise to share his previews—as he calls them—with other people. The book concludes with an exciting climax in which he begins to appreciate the true value of the gift he has been given. This is a psychological novel which captures your attention to the very end. I look forward to reading Fraser Oz's next novel.”
Joan Fallon
Author of The Jacaranda Dunne Mysteries
“The Portrait Painter will take you on a colorful philosophical adventure! The very first brushstroke captured my attention and I didn’t want the journey to end. Fraser Oz skillfully paints an entire landscape with a single sentence - the ins and outs of a relationship with just a few lines of dialogue. He takes you on a ride where the action scenes are visually stunning page-turners! As I traveled from one chapter to the next, I rooted for the compelling characters and their love for one another. “The main character, Justin Gates, has unique powers that prove to be both a blessing and a burden. I found it fascinating to ponder how Justin comes to understand and use his insights. His actions lead to light, entertaining moments, surprising plot twists, and also some challenging turning points and opportunities for existential realizations and closure. I empathized with the moral dilemmas the characters faced, and found myself wondering what I would do in their place. Much like a beautiful yet haunting portrait, this novel stays with you long after you read it.”
Mara Lea Brown
Artist, author and teacher
"Thoroughly enjoyed the book! An intriguing plot. Keeping me up way beyond my bed-time for a couple of nights."
Guy Streatfield
"I finished your book a few days ago. I really enjoyed it, often I’d start reading thinking I had time for “just a few pages” and I couldn’t put it down for a half hour or more. Congratulations! You are definitely a writer! You took a “what if?” idea and turned it into a plausible and entertaining story. The characters and the dialog were very believable. I loved the way Justin’s talent for portraiture was developed and described. Some of the scenes were very moving and brought me to tears."
Tom Terry
“I read it on Saturday, straight through. It didn't strike me as a first novel- very sure-handed and compelling. Congratulations! I had the same feeling reading Robert Galbraith aka J K Rolling- surely you've written a great deal before The Portrait Painter. Right? No matter. The book is wonderful and I believe it will do very well."
Marian Stevens Loomis
Artist
“I liked the book very much, because it kept me very engaged. I couldn’t put it down for hours and I read the whole thing in two days. I enjoyed it because the storyline is very unique. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. It kept me in suspense, especially the chapters The Storm and Survival: they were very exciting! I would highly recommend this book to my friends."
Adriana Chase
“It usually takes me weeks to read a book, fitting in reading times between other interests. Not so Portrait Painter. I couldn't put it down. The story that wrenches at my heart strings is the one about Sophie. That is truly beautiful. The actual physical book itself is superb, well spaced paragraphs making it easy on the eye, and a book that actually stays open as you read it!.”
Susan Francis
Teacher and musician
"An unusual, well written original tale, A must read novel with a difference!!"
Charles Hall
“Imagine yourself having a sudden premonition about something about to happen to someone you know: maybe you see the person dying, or having some serious accident... The feeling is so strong that you think it must be true, without pondering how you could possibly know about a future event. What would you do? Would you try to tell someone? Would they believe you? Would it change things?"This is the starting premise of "The Portrait Painter" by Fraser Oz. It follows Justin starting as a young boy who occasionally has such premonitions, through his growing up and young adult life. I was hooked from the start by the unexpected twists and turns that accompany Justin's attempts to act on his premonitions, with so many obstacles arising to be dealt with.

The characters were well developed and believable, and I couldn't help rooting for Justin to find some way of living a "normal" life despite his odd ability. I loved watching him develop his love and talent for painting, and the way this grounded him and gave him an ability to relate profoundly to people through his uncanny abilities as a portrait painter. The author has a good empathy for the craft of the painter!

The book often became page turner that I couldn't put down for long stretches. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read about a fascinating idea turned into a tale well told.”
Dr. Thomas M. Terry
Professor Emeritus, UCONN

What did you think?

If you read The Portrait Painter,  and would like to share your thoughts, feel free to leave your review on Amazon, or right here filling out the following formThank you!