by Cathi Stoler
How many lies does it take to get away with murder? Magazine Editor Laurel Imperiole is vacationing in Florence, Italy, with Aaron Gerrard, Chief of Detectives of New York City's 13th Precinct Identity Theft Squad. A chance encounter brings Laurel to a startling realization: she's just bumped into a dead man: Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and husband of a close friend who supposedly died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. When he vanished, Sargasso had been brokering the sale of a priceless masterpiece that was lost during World War II to CEO Alfred Hammersmith and billionaire Miayamu Moto. Hammersmith perished along with Sargasso on 9/11, and it is believed that the access codes to the $15 million deposit--ten percent of the asking price--died with them. Could Sargasso have faked his own death to steal the money? The painting's whereabouts are unknown. Laurel enlists the help of private detective Helen McCorkendale, and together they follow the threads that lead from Florence, Italy, to New York. On the way, the women tangle with Israeli Mossad agent Lior Stern and several stop-at-nothing collectors. All are determined to have the painting for themselves. Ignoring Aaron's advice, Laurel puts their volatile relationship in jeopardy. As Helen and Laurel search for Sargasso, the painting and the money, they find themselves enmeshed in a sinister skein of lies that could end in death.
Here's What I Think:While the the concept of this book is grabbing, I am not totally sure that the execution is there. The characters are not fully developed and the plot line has a few holes in it. Having said that, I did enjoy the book. The author's writing voice is there and read, she just needs to work on the structure of the story as a whole. If you are looking for a book that is worth your time, but doesn't require your undivided attention, this is the one for you.