“Stephen Maitland-Lewis’ latest book, Botticelli’s Bastard, is beautifully written and, to its further credit, impossible to categorize. Part thriller, part intriguing mystery, this book is compulsive reading. Above all, it is a first class novel.”
Sir Ronald Harwood, Playwright and Oscar® winning and Oscar® nominated writer of THE PIANIST, THE DRESSER, and THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
“Botticelli’s Bastard is a fascinating, complex and completely compelling novel. It has everything I love, history, art, suspense, intelligence and creativity. I was captivated!”
M. J. Rose, International Bestselling Author
“If Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde collaborated on an uplifting novel it would have been Botticelli’s Bastard. Maitland-Lewis beat them to the punch. A marvelous, soulful tale.”
Stephen Jay Schwartz, L.A. Times Bestselling Author of BOULEVARD and BEAT
“My interest in collecting important art came together with my love of thrillers. Stephen Maitland-Lewis’ Botticelli’s Bastard is a great read.”
Arnold Kopelson, Oscar® and Golden Globe® acclaimed producer of PLATOON and numerous award-winning films including THE FUGITIVE
Maitland-Lewis’s (Ambition, 2013, etc.) latest book, a historical thriller with threads of comedy, follows a skilled art restorer as he traces a mysterious painting’s sordid past.
Giovanni Fabrizzi has lost his zeal for life. Recently remarried to a beautiful young woman, he can’t shake the memory of his deceased first wife. He loves his work as an art restorer in London, but finds the modern art world stifling, and longs for the past. The excitement he craves finally arrives in a wholly unexpected way, when an old painting in his studio suddenly begins to speak to him. The man in the painting identifies himself as Count Marco Lorenzo Pietro de Medici, and claims to have been painted by the great Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. Giovanni questions his own sanity until the count reveals shocking details about Giovanni’s loved ones. No longer able to ignore the count’s claims, Giovanni sets off to uncover the truth behind the painting’s history. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers uncomfortable family secrets related to World War II, and he’s faced with a seemingly impossible decision. Giovanni’s quest is a thrilling one, particularly for readers familiar with the art world, and it’s filled with interesting historical tidbits. The author makes it seem plausible that a lost Botticelli could exist in the real world, a titillating prospect. However, the search for the fictional painting’s origins doesn’t begin until nearly two-thirds of the way through the book. Everything prior to that involves initially amusing but eventually tiresome debates between Giovanni and the count. Giovanni is also a difficult character, as his melancholy and initial indecisiveness make him a less-than-compelling hero. But readers who make it past the slow early sections won’t be disappointed by the novel’s fulfilling, warm-hearted conclusion.
An often intriguing tale of history, betrayal and art.