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Tom Fairchild is a man with a past he can't shake. He's struggling to make it as a graphic artist, but his probation officer thinks he belongs in jail. Then millionaire Miami real estate developer Stuart Barlowe offers him fifty thousand dollars to travel to Italy with his daughter Allison, a map expert and Tom's childhood love, to duplicate a rare Renaissance map. But Tom soon suspects that Barlowe wants a forgery, not a duplicate. He just doesn't know why, and Allison isn't talking. When people start turning up dead, and Tom and Allison realize they are being tailed, it quickly becomes clear that they have no one to trust but each other.
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Barbara Parker (1947-2009) was the author of thirteen mysteries, including the Suspicion series featuring Miami lawyers Anthony Quintana and Gail Connor. Her debut, Suspicion of Innocence, was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. She also penned four stand-alone thrillers, including The Dark of Day and The Perfect Fake.From Booklist:
In a departure from her Gail Connor series, Parker writes an engrossing stand-alone thriller. Tom Fairchild is determined to get his life back in order after spending time in prison for theft. Now on parole, Tom, a would-be graphic artist, is working with his sister at her map shop in Miami. When real-estate developer Stuart Barlowe wants to hire Tom to make an exact copy of a Renaissance map, Tom sees a way of earning the money he needs to make restitution for his role in the theft. But does Barlowe really want a duplicate, or is he asking for a forgery? Either way, Tom agrees to being smuggled out of Florida to research the map in England and Italy. On the journey, romance is rekindled between Tom and his former girlfriend Allison, Barlowe's daughter. Naturally, there is much more to the map caper than meets the eye, and soon enough Tom and Allison are in the middle of it. Parker's villains are stereotypes, but Tom and Allison make a sympathetic couple on the run, and the cartography frame story is fresh and compelling. Sue O'Brien
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