A mysterious painting holds the clues to a cache of priceless relics in this treasure hunt of “deepening suspense” à la The Da Vinci Code (Library Journal).
In financial trouble, Isobel Sadler considers selling a painting that’s been in her family for generations. She can’t imagine it’s worth much . . . until someone tries to steal it.
Mystified, Isobel turns to art dealer Michael Whiting for advice. He identifies the painting as a sixteenth-century treasure map pointing the way to a series of lost religious artifacts hidden by monks when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. If he and Isobel can decipher the clues in the painting, Michael reasons, her money troubles will disappear.
But if they can’t decode the painting quickly, Michael and Isobel could be history themselves. As they struggle to translate the arcane instructions—laced with references to everything from the Bible to Botticelli—they are stalked by a rival who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the treasure.
Peter Watson’s stylish art-world thriller seamlessly mixes action with “sustained literariness, refinement, and polish” (Library Journal).
When someone tries to steal a medieval painting long owned by her family, Isobel Sadler turns for help to London art gallery owner Michael Whiting. She is amazed to learn that the picture, titled Landscape of Lies , is a ``puzzle map'' whose nine male figures each symbolize priceless silver relics that were squirreled away by monks when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Isobel and Michael--who, naturally, fall in love--set out to find the treasure, but an obsessed academic who will stop at nothing, not even murder, stays a few steps ahead of them. Watson, who proved himself a master of the art-world thriller in The Caravaggio Conspiracy , has turned out an amiable entertainment that is more a self-indulgent exercise than a suspense novel. The path to the silver is strewn with red herrings and arcane clues involving Botticelli, the Bible, horticulture, classical lore and medieval iconography.
Landscape of Lies
Loved the pace of this novel, the writer’s knowledge of his art subject and descriptive language.