The novel which began Iain Pears's acclaimed art crime series, introducing General Bottando and Flavia di Stefano of the Italian National Art Theft Squad. When English art historian, Jonathan Argyll, is caught breaking into a church in Rome, he has an astonishing story to tell. He claims that the church contains a genuine Raphael, hidden under a painting by Mantini. Further investigation reveals that the painting has disappeared...to reappear later in the hands of top English art dealer, Edward Byrnes. Soon Byrnes is able to unveil the Raphael before an amazed world. But how had he found out about the hidden masterpiece? And there is also the curious matter of the forger whose safety deposit box contains some highly suspicious sketches. Then a hideous act of vandalism is perpetrated. Murder is to follow...and General Bottando of Italy's Art Theft Squad faces the most critical challenge of his whole career.
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Iain Pears won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University and then worked for Reuters in Rome. He is the author of The History of Modern Painting and the literary novel, An Instance of the Fingerpost. He lives with his wife and son in Oxford.From AudioFile:
In this fast-moving tale about art forgery, art theft, art dealing and art investigation, Geoffrey Howard has an excellent voice for the different characters, both British and Italian. The listener is carried right along through the Italian museum world, a British art auction and an investigation into possible fraud. The Italian detective, General Bottando, and his female assistant, Flavia di Stefano, are read with flair; the British art historian, Jonathan Argyll, and various members of the commercial art world are spot on. Howard's delivery mirrors the increasing tension in the story right up to the denouement and then relaxes the pace so the listener can enjoy the puzzle's solution. D.M.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006511120