"Oh, what a web Jonathan Santlofer weaves in this un-put-downable book! The Last Mona Lisa brings together past and present, seasons it with intriguing characters, and brushes it with plot twists that you don't see coming to create an unstoppable what-happens-next momentum. Santlofer has outdone himself this time." — Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series
"A deliciously tense read that mixes a present day hunt for the truth with a real-life historical heist to page-turning effect!" — Ruth Ware, #1 NYT best selling author of One By One
"It's hard to imagine another writer who could pull off a feat like The Last Mona Lisa, with its combination of thrills, history, and insider knowledge of the art world. A singular achievement by a terrific writer. Really stunning." — Laura Lippman, New York Times best selling author
"Astonishingly, Jonathan Santlofer is a brilliant writer of fiction and nonfiction—and a superb visual artist as well. All his skills come together in The Last Mona Lisa, and the result is wholly satisfying." — Lawrence Block, bestselling author of more than 50 novels, including Eight Million Ways to Die and A Walk Among the Tombstones
"From its seductive first pages, The Last Mona Lisa carries us along on an utterly irresistible time-jumping, continent-leaping tale of intrigue and family secrets, obsession and the ineffable power of art itself. I could not put it down." — Megan Abbott, bestselling and award-winning author of Give Me Your Hand and The Turnout
"A fascinating art-mystery novel....filled with art history information, particularly about Leonardo, and set in Florence." — Joyce Carol Oates in Forward
"With romance, mystery, and near-death experiences, this book checks all the boxes for a scintillating summer read." — Artnet
"A sleek and cunning book." — The Brooklyn Rail
"Details of Florence, Paris, and New York City enhance the twisty plot, as does the insider view of the underground world of art collectors driven by deception, ego, and greed." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Suspenseful, lush with Florence's glorious art and architecture, sexy, and emotionally complex, Santlofer's multifaceted tale of how a passion for art can turn criminal contrasts the genuine with the fake and asks if beauty and love can truly be transcendent." — Booklist, STARRED review
"Santlofer crafts a layered and absorbing art mystery, complete with exciting action scenes and beautiful descriptions of the city of Florence and its art as well as Paris and Nice....a must for fans of Dan Brown." — Kirkus Reviews
"This is a terrific read - compelling, intelligent, fascinating and deeply satisfying. It was a book I did not want to end." — Peter James, #1 bestselling crime thriller author
"Fabulous—instantly immersive, intriguing and suspenseful, and expert and authentic too ... only a writer who is also an artist—or an artist who is also a writer—could have pulled it off. This feels like the thriller Santlofer was born to write." — Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
"A riveting novel, weaving the real-life 1911 theft of Leonardo's masterpiece into a nail-biting contemporary drama where billionaire collectors, art historians, book collectors and Interpol engage in so many double and triple crosses you're left wondering until the last page whom to trust and whom to fear. The Last Mona Lisa is like a master class in how to create a deep understanding of art history while making a seamless thriller." — Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author of the V.I, Warshawski series
"The Last Mona Lisa is a pacy, seductive international thriller of the first order. With its seamless blend of action, intriguing maze of family secrets, and the gripping, emotional journal entries of a long-dead art thief, this is a transporting novel, made all the more captivating because of the true story at its heart. Don't miss it!" — Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45
What might have happened to the Mona Lisa when it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911 and stayed missing for two years?
Art historian Luke Perrone has been obsessed with the history of the Mona Lisaever since learning that his great-grandfather Vincenzo Peruggia was the man who stole it from the Louvre. When he's contacted by an Italian professor who claims to know the location of Vincenzo's journal, Luke immediately drops everything and flies to Florence. There, he becomes drawn into two mysteries: one from the past (why did Peruggia steal the painting?) and one from the present (why has everyone who's recently encountered the journal died?). As he unravels the story of the first, he becomes more deeply embroiled in the second and begins to fear for his own safety—especially when he finds out he’s being watched. With the help of a beautiful American woman; an INTERPOL agent; and a famous art forger he meets in Paris, Luke begins to wonder whether the painting hanging in the Louvre, returned after the theft, is even the true Mona Lisa. Someone clearly cares enough about the answer to keep killing those who know about the journal, so Luke must rush to find the answers before he’s next. Through Vincenzo’s story as well as occasional chapters that share background on supporting characters, Santlofer crafts a layered and absorbing art mystery, complete with exciting action scenes and beautiful descriptions of the city of Florence and its art as well as Paris and Nice. It’s the human story at the heart of it, though, that really elevates the novel. Vincenzo’s motives for art theft are both pure and heart-rending, and Luke, flawed and struggling, seems to innately grasp what the person behind the recent violent deaths cannot: A work of art, no matter how precious, cannot be worth more than a human life.
A must for fans of Dan Brown and Arturo Perez-Reverte.
The real-life theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from the Louvre on Aug. 21, 1911, by workman Vincenzo Peruggia provides the backdrop for this outstanding caper from Nero Award winner Santlofer (Anatomy of Fear). In 2019, Luke Perrone, a nontenured university professor of art history and Vincenzo’s descendant, searches the Laurentian library in Florence, Italy, for his great-grandfather’s journal in the hope of determining whether the stolen Mona Lisa was replaced by a forgery before its recovery in 1913, and thus ensuring his academic position. John Washington Smith, an ambitious analyst from Interpol’s Art Theft Division, and the mysterious Alexandra Greene join Luke in his effort, and the trio are soon contending with nefarious scholars, forgers, stalkers, a Franciscan monk, and a Russian hit man as the bodies pile up. Details of Florence, Paris, and New York City enhance the twisty plot, as does the insider view of the underground world of art collectors driven by deception, ego, and greed. Santlofer, himself an artist, should win more awards with this one. Agent: Jane von Mehren, Aevitas Creative Management. (Aug.)