A hair-raising, atmospheric thriller from the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) novel Three Graves Full, inspired by the real-life unsolved theft of a seventeenth-century painting.
In less than half a minute, a home-security camera captures the hidden resolve in fourteen-year-old Carly Liddell as she fends off a vicious attack just inside her own front door. The video of her heroic escape appears online and goes viral. As the view count climbs, the lives of four desperate people will be forever changed by what’s just barely visible in the corner of the shot.
Carly’s stepfather is spurred to protect his darkest secret: how a stolen painting—four hundred years old, by a master of the Dutch Golden Age—has come to hang in his suburban foyer. The art dealer, left for dead when the painting vanished, sees a chance to buy back her life. And the double-crossed enforcer renews the hunt to deliver the treasure to his billionaire patrons—even if he has to kill to succeed.
But it’s Carly herself, hailed as a social-media hero, whose new perspective gives her the courage to uncover the truth as the secrets and lies tear her family apart.
A home-security video shows 14-year-old Carly Liddell, the heroine of this suspenseful, if workmanlike, thriller from Mason (Monday's Lie), successfully fighting off an intruder who forced his way into her family's suburban home. The day after the incident, the video is uploaded to YouTube and becomes a viral hit. The video also shows the corner of a painting hanging in the family foyer 17th-century Dutch master Govaert Flinck's Landscape with Obelisk, part of the haul from the infamous heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. The author builds tension by carefully doling out the story of how John Cooper, Carly's new stepfather, came to possess the stolen painting. Meanwhile, John must contend with two people who recognize the painting in the video and have scores to settle with him. The danger the increasingly unlikable John doesn't count on, however, is the one represented by the whip-smart, courageous Carly hands down, the best part of the book. Those with an interest in the real-life museum theft may want to check this one out.