The Talinin Madonna

Douglas Skeggs, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-312-07092-2
Villains don't come more deeply dyed than KGB officer Vassily Krasin, a ruthless, luxury-loving manipulator who has been smuggling Soviet art treasures to the West. An inquiry from London solicitor Pip Spencer about a painting possibly owned by the Soviet Union and on sale in a London gallery impels Vassily on a track-covering campaign of murder and a scheme to seduce, betray and dispose of lovely Katya Leskova, 24, a translator for the Ministry of Culture who handled Spencer's inquiry. His plans nearly complete, he sends Katya to London with a small package she is to hand a go-between. It contains a tiny Raphael triptych stolen from the Pushkin Museum and worth millions. Frightened at last, Katya outwits the intermediary and runs for her life. She enlists the help of Pip, who takes her to Harrods, the best place in London to shake a pursuer. Like an angel of death, Vassily flies to London. Skeggs, a director of London's New Academy for Fine Arts Studies, brings his novel to a rousing end with a double-barreled surprise. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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