An intelligent and complex mystery set in the highbrow art world. Anyone with an interest in history, art and the mystery genre will find themselves engrossed in this fascinating tale involving art fraud and organised crime.
The author, Larry Witham, expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the art world and introduces us to the various players involved in the art scene. The investigation takes many twists and turns involving various dangerous and mysterious characters.
The crux of the story lies in the origins of the stolen art as well as the part played by the monuments men, one of whom was Peale's grandfather, in the retrieval of looted art from the Nazis and their ultimate fate once they reached America. In order to put the puzzle pieces together, Julian Peale has to investigate the involvement of the Russian mob, hipsters, hackers, art collectors, sellers and old friends.
I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge the author has in his subject material. In a book of this kind, where the author is so knowledgeable, there is the danger of slowing the pace with the minutiae of art theory and historical detail but Larry Witham manages to avoid this pitfall. He expertly balances the mix between fact and fiction and just gives the right amount of information to complement the plot. It certainly whetted my interest in learning more about art crime and the work of art experts who are trained to spot works of art looted during WWII.
I highly recommend this excellent, fast paced mystery. It won't fail to interest and entertain.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.