When a chance encounter in Florence’s Uffizi Museum plunges Women Now editor Laurel Imperiole and private investigator Helen McCorkendale into an investigation of missing persons and stolen Nazi art, the women find themselves ensnared in a deadly maze of greed and deceit.
Could the man Laurel bumped into have been Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and friend who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11? Was it possible he was still alive and had disappeared without a trace?
Laurel, who was vacationing in Italy with her boyfriend, Aaron Gerrad, a New York City detective, is thoroughly shaken by the experience of seemingly meeting a dead man. Sargasso was supposedly killed that day during a meeting regarding the sale of a 150 million dollar painting between a Japanese billionaire and a Wall Street tycoon. Determined to get to the bottom of things, she and Helen investigate in Italy and in New York.
As she delves deeper, Laurel leaves the truth behind, telling lies to Aaron about her actions and the liaison she’s formed with Lior Stern, an Israeli Mossad agent with an agenda of his own. One lie leads to another, entangling everyone and everything the women encounter, including murder and the painting at the heart of the affair.
Searching for answers, Laurel and Helen thread their way through a sinister skein of lies that take them on a whirlwind journey that could end in death.
When Laurel Imperiole and Aaron Gerrard go on a vacation to Florence, Italy, imagine the shock when Laurel bumps into Jess Sargasso who died in the 9/11 tragedy. Well, everyone including his wife thought he died then. How could someone do this to their wife and family? Laurel was determined to find out what was going on because Jeff’s wife was one of her good friends and she was there during the grieving of Jeff’s loss. Aaron finally believes Laurel really does see Sargasso and joins in with the search, since he is a NYPD Identity Theft Chief along with private investigator Helen McCorkendale from NY.
This fast-pace thriller starts at the beginning when Laurel accidentally bumps into Jeff at an art gallery in Italy. Jeff Sargasso was an art dealer owning an art gallery in NYC. Laurel remembers Sargasso working on an extremely large money deal between MMJapan Corporation CEO Miayamu Moto, a billionaire wanting his hands on a piece of art lost during WWII and Alfred Hammersmith,CEO. Hammersmith was also killed in the 9/11 tragedy. Moto was only one of many people wanting his hands on this masterpiece.
I was captured from the very beginning of this story. There are so many different twist and turns in the story the reader is kept guessing throughout the book, and you really don’t know who to believe. And the very idea of Sargasso faking his death just for his own greedy satisfaction.
A couple of things about Sargasso that left me wondering was, he mentioned several times about things he had to do to get where he was in Italy. He had to change his identity and appearance but mentioning these things was after killing his supposed girlfriend, so it sounded like he was talking about other horrible things such as this. The book leaves you hanging on these things. Also, I really thought Sargasso deserved more than what he got at the end. Like maybe having to face the people he lied to and faking his death. This jerk deserved the humiliation of at least that. I was disappointed in this.
Overall this was a really good suspense thriller, and anyone liking this genre of books will enjoy this. There is some language that could have been left out as far as I’m concerned though. I hope there is a Book 2 to the series to tie up some loose ends left in this book. The masterpiece is still a mystery so maybe it will be!
I rec’d this book from Kregel publishers for an honest review.
Release: April 11, 2011
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