The Chrysalis

Heather Terrell, Author Ballantine Books $21.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-345-49466-5
A luminous portrait by a fictitious artist is at the heart of Terrell's disappointing debut thriller. The painting actively links three separate story lines, presented in alternating chapters. A 17th-century Dutch artist creates a painting as a tribute to his lover and his Catholic faith; in 194's Amsterdam, Erich Baum is shipping his precious artwork to France for safekeeping; a present-day Manhattan attorney defends an auction house against claims by a Dutch woman that the Nazis stole the painting from her family. It's a promising plot structure, but that promise is buried under repetitious explanations of the legal issues, inept pacing and awkward dialogue. Former litigator Terrell earnestly wants to focus on questions of morality and betrayal across three centuries, but her artless writing frustrates those ambitions.
Reviewed on: 04/30/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 405 pages - 978-0-7862-9802-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 185 pages - 978-0-345-50029-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 310 pages - 978-0-345-49467-2
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