The Masks of Rome

Caroline Llewellyn, Author Scribner Book Company $0 (311p) ISBN 978-0-684-18921-5
Set in modern-day Italy, this compelling first novel concerns old-world paintings and current politics, as well as the timeless issues of love and betrayal. A native Canadian, recently divorced, Kate Roy finds emotional healing in her apprenticeship as a conservator of paintings in Rome's Palazzo Torreleone. She is grateful when an American, Nick Taliaferro, saves her from an attempted mugging, but she becomes suspicious when, over dinner, he shows particular interest in the aristocratic Torreleone family, whose paintings she is in the process of restoring. Kate is fond of Count Massimo Torreleone and disturbingly attracted to his son, Alessandro, a notorious playboy who works for the Italian Treasury Department. Shortly after recognizing the count's niece in a student riot, Kate discovers that the most valuable Torreleone painting has been replaced by a forgery. These plot threadsand others ranging from left-wing terrorism to international art and financial scamscome together the night of Carnevale when Kate is pursued through the cellars below the palazzo by a sadistic thug trying to murder her and the count. Old-world mores and the ``business'' of restoring masterpieces sharply complement the tension of modern-day danger and Kate's personal skepticism. With its rich atmosphere, deftness of plot and fully dimensioned characters, this accomplished debut delivers on its promise of romantic suspense and plenty more. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 420 pages - 978-0-8161-4752-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0375-6
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