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The Third Deadly Sin
(From the book artist's book "Affetti")
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Valhalla Books in Hungary had commissioned Peter on a number of books but this cover art for Lawrence Sanderson's thriller novel "The Third Deadly Sin" was a bit of a departure from his classic science fiction imagery and an additional commission by Valhalla for cover art for "Unholy Fire" by Whitley Streiber, triggered a sub-theme of his fantasy art  imagery in which the principal focus is on expression of human emotion through body gesture and pose.
Lawrence Sanders (March 15, 1920 – February 7, 1998) was an American novelist and short story writer born in Brooklyn in New York City. After public school he attended Wabash College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, the latter being one of two things the author and artist have in common. He then returned to New York and worked at Macy's Department Store (this being the second thing they have in common as the artist also worked in a department store while studying for his Bachelor of Arts degree). In 1943 Sanders joined the United States Marine Corps and was discharged in 1946.
Here any similarities end. Whilst Sanders was a journalist for over twenty years, working for such publications as Mechanics Illustrated and Science and Mechanics while beavering away at his real love of writing fiction, the artist was propelled into working at what he really wanted to do even before he left art school.
A series of short stories by Sanders featuring hardboiled insurance investigator Wolf Lannihan appeared in the pages of the Swank Magazine in 1968-69, but his real break came with the publication of his first novel The Anderson Tapes in 1970 at the age of 50 and the subsequent hit 1972 film which dealt with a plot by a group of criminals to rob a luxury apartment building. In 1971, Sanders received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for best first novel.
Eventually, he wrote "The Third Deadly Sin" and here the author and artist crossed paths courtesy of the go-between of Valhalla Books in Hungary.
Valhalla, a small upstart company in Hungary who were great admirers of Peter's well known science fiction art came to his Wimbledon studio and typical science fiction image requests eventually evolved into requests for these thriller covers, with a twist.
One thing soon leads to another, and soon these images spawned ideas for a whole series of images that concern themselves with emotions expressed through the gestures and postures of the body.

Deborah Susan Jones

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