Elkins has switched hero-sleuths from anthropology (The Dark Place,
1983) to art history in the person of Chris Norgren, sent by his
San Francisco Museum boss to help install a show of Old Masters
owned by collector Claudio Bolzano at the American Army base in
Berlin. Coolly elegant curator Peter Van Corflandt meets Chris
briefly on his arrival, drops an enigmatic hint about a forgery
amongst the paintings, takes off for Frankfurt and is found dead in
sordid surroundings a day later. Chris spends the next couple of
weeks getting almost killed in an attempted storeroom robbery,
falling for Air Force Captain Anne Greene, flying to Frankfurt,
London and Florence - as he struggles to identity, the forgery -
and escaping bullets and a bomb along the way. Eventually, he finds
the so-called forgery and Van Cortlandt's murderer as well, but the
complex solution seems undermotivated for all the mayhem involved.
Chris is a likable sort and things move at a lively clip, but this
is a feast for the art-oriented only. Others may find it more of a
famine. (Kirkus Reviews)
Chris Norgren, Assistant Curator of Art at the San Francisco
Museum, is dispatched to Berlin to assist his boss, Peter Van
Cortlandt, in mounting an exhibition. Peter tells him that one of
the paintings is possibly a forgery, but before he can tell him
which, he is murdered.
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