The Immaculate Deception

Iain M. Pears, Author Scribner Book Company $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7432-1257-1
Jonathan Argyll, accompanied by his new wife, Flavia di Stefano, makes his seventh appearance in this confusing case of a stolen painting, murder and intrigue, following 1998's well-received An Instance of the Fingerpost. Antonio Sabauda, the Italian prime minister, asks Flavia, now acting head of the national art squad, to recover Claude Lorraine's Landscape with Cephalis and Procris, stolen from an Italian museum while on loan from the Louvre. Flavia, however, must not use public money for the requested ransom. As Flavia's former boss, Gen. Taddeo Bottando, has told her, ""Prime ministers? Oh, they can ruin your life."" She finds this is true on many levels. Meanwhile, Argyll, the art expert, is snooping into the provenance of a small painting owned by Bottando. Soon Argyll and Flavia find that almost everyone they talk to in their respective investigations has a hidden agenda. Who is behind all the shady goings-on in the art world? Is it Prime Minister Sabauda, General Bottando or another person with something to protect? Ultimately, as people's motives become clearer and one corpse after another turns up, Argyll and Flavia find that they have to make some very disturbing choices involving their own sense of morality. A personal secret that Flavia harbors until the end adds some intrigue. While the author nicely portrays the Italian art world, readers looking for a scintillating mystery will have to seek elsewhere. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-7862-3257-4
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-7432-8699-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-7434-2208-6
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7432-7241-4
Show other formats
FORMATS
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X