Gradually, globe-hopping flights and substitutions of a hilariously unconvincing forgery for the real van Gogh start to take...

FALSE IMPRESSION

Now that he’s completed his trilogy of prison diaries (2003–05), Lord Archer, out on the street again, returns to his old habits with this tale of a disgraced art expert’s attempt to thwart her villainous banker boss’s plot to fleece a fine old English family of van Gogh’s Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear.

The morning after Lady Victoria Wentworth has her throat cut before she can follow Dr. Anna Petrescu’s advice about selling off her van Gogh to cover her debt to Fenston Finance, Bryce Fenston fires Anna for offering the advice. Getting sacked is the best thing that could have happened to her, because while she’s waiting for an elevator to take her down to the first floor of the World Trade Center for the last time, the building is rocked by a fiery explosion. Yes, it’s 9/11, and while Archer is using the disaster as colorful background, Anna’s taking advantage of the chaos to disappear, presumed dead. She plans to fly to England and ask Arabella Wentworth, Victoria’s twin and heir, to help her steal the canvas, now technically Fenston’s property, before Fenston’s lieutenant, disbarred lawyer Karl Leapman, can pick it up. Knowing that a terrorist bombing goes only so far, Archer (Sons of Fortune, 2003, etc.) ladles on extra complications. An FBI agent who’s had his eye on Fenston gets on Anna’s trail. Her phone calls to her friend Tina Forster, Fenston’s assistant, puts her irate ex-boss close behind. The knife-wielding assassin who killed Victoria Wentworth goes after Anna as well.

Gradually, globe-hopping flights and substitutions of a hilariously unconvincing forgery for the real van Gogh start to take the place of plot developments, and somewhere between Bucharest and London, most of the suspense evaporates, though there are still a hundred pages left to run.

Pub Date: March 7, 2006

ISBN: 0-312-35372-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Boasting one of the freshest and most unlikely duos to appear in crime fiction in some time, the latest thriller by...

THE DEAD STUDENT

Convinced that the shooting death of his psychiatrist uncle was murder—not a suicide, as ruled—a Miami Ph.D. student with a binge-drinking problem turns to his high school girlfriend to help him uncover the truth.

Timothy Warner, known as Moth, has long depended upon his Uncle Ed, who had drinking issues of his own, in times of crisis. He knew Ed well enough to know that he would never have shot himself, no matter how convinced the police are that he did. Not knowing whom else to call for help, he contacts his old flame Andrea Martine. Known as Andy Candy, she's in a fragile state herself, still recovering from an unprosecuted case of date rape and from having her heart broken by Moth. But though she's reluctant to see him again, her devotion slowly returns. With all their quirks and foibles, they make an unusually appealing team. When the narrative is taken over by the smugly self-admiring Student #5, a former student of Ed's who is stalking old professors he has grudges against, the book becomes more predictable. As devious as Student #5 is, he meets his match in Moth and Andy. "You're not a cop. You don't know anything about killing," Andy says to Moth early on. "I'm a fast learner," he replies.

Boasting one of the freshest and most unlikely duos to appear in crime fiction in some time, the latest thriller by Katzenbach (Red 1-2-3, 2013) is one of his most enjoyable.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8021-2337-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet