Claire Kilroy, Author . Harvest $14 (294p) ISBN 978-0-15-603204-9

The slapstick fallout from a violinist's purchase of a rare instrument of dubious origin makes for a taut, confident American debut by Irish writer Kilroy. A 20-something violinist for the fledgling New Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra in New York City, Irishwoman Eva Tyne broke up with her Czech boyfriend, Krysztof, just before suffering a very public asthma attack that lands her in the hospital. Once out, she meets Daniel, a suave young investment banker so enchanted by her that he offers to help front part of the fabulous sum required to buy the questionable "Magdalena" Stradivarius offered to Eva by a shady Russian dealer in Brooklyn. Knowing the violin is probably stolen, Eva nevertheless takes the $600,000 risk, using up her father's financial legacy (he disappeared one day from their home in Ireland) and selling her own violin. Kilroy injects some delicious suspense as the asthma keeps getting worse, the deadline on the violin offer looms, and Eva begins suspecting her boyfriend is sleeping with her best friend, Valentina, skillfully capturing Eva's complicated tenderness for her art and her lost father, and her tenuous grasp on love. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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