L.S. Hilton. Putnam, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-18482-6
Much of the thrill is gone for fierce femme fatale Judith Rashleigh, as well as readers, in bestseller Hilton’s disappointing sequel to 2016’s Maestra. Judith has triumphantly morphed from a London art auction house lackey to glamorous Venice gallery owner Elisabeth Teerlinc—with several dead bodies along the way—and is poised to savor the fruits of her felonious behavior. But a series of mysterious break-ins escalating to the murder of her Russian teacher, Masha, the closest thing to a friend she has, convinces the seductive schemer that she’s far from home free, and it may take every shred of cunning she possesses to survive. Puzzling out who might be gunning for her plunges Judith into a high-stakes art-for-arms scam apparently involving ruthless Russian oligarch Pavel Yermolov, Serbian war criminal Dejan Raznatovic, and a (probably) fake Caravaggio. Though Hilton hasn’t lost her gift for climactic set-pieces, particularly the blood-soaked pair that bookend the novel, too much of the extended cat-and-mouse maneuvering in between remains overly convoluted and less than satisfying. Agent: Toby Mundy, TMA Creative Management (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017
Release date: 07/11/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-5247-5668-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-84-16498-19-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-451-48312-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4894-0929-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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