“Powerful . . . Fascinating . . . Truman absolutely amazes.”—Atlanta Journal & Constitution
When the senior curator at Washington's famed National Gallery finds a missing painting by the Renaissance master Caravaggio, he mounts a world-class exhibition—and plots a brilliant forgery scheme that will stun the art world.
“A thrilling chase.”—Publishers Weekly
But an artful deception suddenly becomes a portrait of blackmail and murder—as gallery owner and part-time sleuth Annabel Reed-Smith and her husband go searching for clues in the heady arena of international art and uncover a rare collection of unscrupulous characters that leads all the way to Italy.
“Highly recommended . . . One of [Margaret] Truman's best.”—Booklist
Truman, daughter of Harry and Bess, centers the latest in her Capitol Crimes series, starring Washington, D.C., insiders Annabel and Mac Reed, in the often corrupt world of international art. Although the title incident doesn't occur until nearly the last chapter, the pace of the preceding action is breathless. As the National Gallery prepares for a special Caravaggio exhibit, senior curator Luther Mason happens to "discover" a lost Caravaggio masterpiece while in Italy. Installing the original in the exhibit but making plans to replace it afterwards, Mason, aided by cultural attache Carlo Giliberti, commissions two forgeries--one to send back to Italy and the other to sell to an underground art dealer who believes he is buying the original. In the meantime, Mason must deal with his scrounging son, Julian, and his mistress and gallery assistant, Lynn Marshall, who is angling for a quick promotion. Along for the ride is well-known art critic, the asexual M. Scott Pims, who adores intrigue. After four murders, the players who remain meet for a thrilling chase from Rome to Abruzzi. The amiable Reeds--Annabel is a gallery owner and Mac a law school professor--are in top form here.