The Last Van Gogh

The Last Van Gogh

by Will Ottinger

Paperback(First Printing ed.)

$19.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, August 26

Overview

2019 Maxy Awards "Best Mystery-Detective"

Two old letters reveal the existence of an unknown Van Gogh painting. Only four individuals have ever seen the work, all now dead. One deceased man, an alcoholic thief, claimed to have smuggled the painting out of France at the beginning of World War Two. His two sons dedicate themselves to finding the Van Gogh, seeking personal redemption for their father and damaged childhoods.

Valued at $250 million, the painting attracts an unseen hired killer, three unscrupulous collectors, and the Russian mob. One brother undertakes the search for the painting, accompanied by a beautiful ex-KGB assassin as his bodyguard. Together, their quest takes them from New York to Los Angeles, from Paris to Amsterdam as murders pile up around them. Welcome to the high-end art world, secret deals, and billionaires willing to go to any length to get their hands on the last Van Gogh.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684331932
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Publication date: 03/07/2019
Edition description: First Printing ed.
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 890,682
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

A native of Savannah, Georgia, Will Ottinger published his first novel, A Season for Ravens, in 2014, named a top-three Historical Fiction work. His second novel, The Savannah Betrayals, was published in early 2018. He authored a magazine column for seven years and currently serves as president of a Houston writers' group. Former owner of a consulting firm, he and his wife owned an art gallery in Chicago. They now live in Houston Texas.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Saturday Night February 2018 Chicago

Winter rain crystalized into sleet as the police cruiser eased past my gallery's front window. The black and white turned the corner onto Huron and I relaxed. The Adam Barrow Gallery was having a good night and the last thing I needed were flashing red lights reflecting off Vasily Sorokin's paintings.

The police cruiser combined protection and a curse. I'd located my gallery four blocks from what was once Cabrini Green, Lyndon Johnson's failed public housing experiment turned ghetto. Tucked into a block of five attached businesses, my small contribution included what developers generously termed 'gentrified renewal'. Freshened with track lighting and an upgraded interior, first-rate contemporary realism filled inviting alcoves strategically arranged throughout the gallery. I'd accepted the hazards of locating near the city's slums, a part of the city that blended felons with artsy risk-takers. It was a gamble but I found the rich and adventurous got a perverse thrill from occasional slumming.

The crowd appeared in good spirits as I stood by the door, estimating the room's combined net worth, relieved the late afternoon storm off Lake Michigan hadn't dented eagerness to view Vasily's dazzling work. Persistent shards of sleet pinged against the front window as my assistant Sally, attired in the obligatory black cocktail dress, worked the room with her bubbly charm, her cropped blond hair bobbing among the crowd. Our star Vasily slipped among flashy singles and older couples, playing up his Russian accent, the show his largest exhibit to date.

An overfed contented-looking man wandered up and lifted his wine glass toward me. Harry Helms was middle management down to his brown wingtips, his eyes claiming indirect ownership of all he saw around him.

"Good crowd, Adam."

I shook my banker's hand. "Guarantees next month's payment, Harry."

My eyes followed his. The convivial crowds enjoying Vasily' paintings produced simultaneous smiles. Like most borrowers, my feelings for Harry swung between grateful and an urge to tell him to go screw himself. Owing people money does that to you.

"Nice to see you doing well," he said.

"No choice. You drive a tough bargain."

The banker laughed. "Good wine too. Goes with the crowd from what I can see."

"Your check's in the mail."

He grinned and wandered back to the browsers, looking at the walls as if he owned them, which, in fact, he did. I'd been fortunate in locating a small new bank. Desperate for deposits and loans they gambled on my dream. Unlike many competitors, my gallery was not wound around a mommy-and-daddy bank account. Maybe it was the lure of an art gallery as a client, but the bank bet on a desperate thirty two-year old, binding my future to the loan agreement in their files. It was a risk on both our parts, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted headlines that read "Deprived Boy Makes Good" or, "Thief's Son Overcomes Horrific Childhood." Hell, on the worst days, I'd settle for "Struggling Art Dealer Makes a Buck." Despite my unbalanced balance sheet, things were looking up. I'd finally gotten what I wanted, and while I might be slightly damaged goods, I was beating back the past.

My gamble on the talented young Russian artist produced my first major break. Half a dozen major critics agreed with my assessment and I smelled success. I smiled at Sally who winked and surreptitiously rubbed her thumb and forefinger together. Profit was in the air, and even the industrial pungency of newly-installed carpet grew less noticeable. I'd selected better Chardonnays and Pinots for the festivities, foregoing cleverly labeled vinegar that one endured at most openings. Better yet, I'd counted four pieces with red 'sold' tags. So far, so good.

I started toward Vasily when a disheveled figure bumped against the door and slid to the sidewalk, sleet bouncing off his outstretched legs. Unfortunate but not unusual, I thought with a frown. This wasn't Mr. Rogers neighborhood. When I looked more closely at the new arrival, the evening began to slip away.

My brother had arrived in all his glory.

Of all the chaotic nights in my life, I didn't need a besotted Wes appearing like some mythical Greek god bent on destruction. His back against the glass door, slumped beneath a partially collapsed umbrella, a thin khaki raincoat buttoned to his chin, his ratty tennis shoes scuffed sponges. I tried to signal Damon, my door-minder, but he was engaged in a hand-waving discussion with the caterer.

My brother's arrival caused the rain to fall harder and I envisioned the storm following him inside. He folded a broken umbrella with more care than it deserved and removed the high-topped shoes, slinging away water and grime as if the act might dry them. He slipped them back on and struggled to his feet. He pushed open the door and our eyes connected like first-round boxers assessing weaknesses.

The gust of lakefront wind ruffled expensive hairdos, their owners glowering at us as though the gallery was being raided. His soiled Nikes squished onto my pristine maroon carpet and I opened my mouth to suggest a retreat back into the rain, but something in his face chopped off the rebuke. Only moderately drunk for a change, Wes flashed his patented disarming smile.

"I'm looking for my brother, Adam Barrow."

"Hello, Wesley," I said, aware more eyes had shifted from Vasily's paintings to the confrontation.

Soaked to his underwear, his face sallow and lined, Wes seemed to have aged a decade since I'd last seen him sprawled on a tavern floor, but tonight he appeared more vulnerable in out-of-season clothes and a three-day growth of beard. Smiling at the crowd without the usual anger of most street people, he stepped back and theatrically surveyed my Boss blazer, gray slacks, and black silk tee. His sardonic smile confirmed I'd deserted the ranks of the proletariat.

"Bohemian or California cool?"

"Don't be an ass, Wes. What're you doing here?"

"Not the most brotherly greeting," he said with a tired grin. He swayed slightly, a damp stain spreading beneath his shoes. A tipsy brother and evening devoted to coaxing money from wealthy clients did not mix.

"Again, Wes, what do you want?"

"Sorry to ruin your soiree." He glanced down at the carpet, swaying. "And your floor." He smirked at the paintings around us and nodded as though confirming his worst fears. "You finally got what you wanted."

"You mean I didn't become a drunk like you and dad." I regretted the words the moment they left my mouth, but they were true. My brother and I didn't exactly live enchanted childhoods, constantly surrounded by the clink of shot glasses and whiskey bottles. Which was how we'd grown up. I eventually deserted the war zone, while Wes used my father's disease as an excuse to roll downhill.

"Does Barbara know where you are?" I asked.

Wes hesitated, then nodded as though remembering he was married. "Yeah, no problem. I got my pass signed tonight."

Twelve years older than me, my brother barely topped five foot nine. I stood four inches taller and had inherited my father's English genes, while Wes reflected the darker complexion of our Italian mother. My dark brown hair evaded the onset of age, while his was streaked dull gray, any distinguished appearance ruined by defeated eyes and loose skin that resembled spoiled veal. Whatever prompted his arrival, I suddenly regretted relegating my carpet's survival above my only brother. I maneuvered him past disapproving buyers, managing a smile as though a long-lost fraternity brother had stumbled in from the storm. Sally frowned and gestured at a black Lincoln Town Car that pulled to the curb across the street, the hopeful harbinger of more disposable income.

With no time to babysit Wes, I guided him into the work area where art storage bins rose to the ceiling and caterers tended tables laden with food and wine. Tuxedo-attired servers, another extravagance, stared at us. Wes collapsed onto a metal chair and I tossed hors d'oeuvres onto a rented china plate and handed it to him. I needed to get back to the waiting checkbooks.

"As you see, I'm in the middle of an opening," I said, ignoring the stares. Was Barbara roaming the streets looking for him? "Do you need a few dollars?" Wes had a reputation of borrowing from street sharks who added 20% interest a day.

He placed the untouched plate on the floor beside him and met my uneasy expression with the infuriating smile. "Actually, I do, but we need to talk about dad."

The mention of our father devalued the evening another notch. I was vaguely aware Damon and the catering supervisor stared at Wes with disgust. Beyond the door, I heard Vasily laugh, the chorus of cheerful voices pleading for my return. What was I supposed to do with an alcoholic brother on the most critical night of my brief career?

"Our father's dead," I managed.

"Something's happened." The light in Wes's eyes was a phenomenon I'd not seen in years. "He left us something quite unexpected, little brother."

"Use my name." I'd always resented being viewed as the family baby. "The estate was settled a year ago. If you remember, we divvied up his junk."

He shrugged. "I just got around to sorting through my share."

Searching for a forgotten twenty squirreled away in a book, I thought. He shrugged out of his sodden coat and hung it over the back of the chair. His soiled shirt, once a button-down white oxford, was remarkably dry, a testament to the valiant raincoat. My brother wasn't going away.

Beaming again, he said, "I found something. You of all people will know if it's bullshit."

I had to get back to my eager clients. "If you found something, keep it as a remembrance."

Wes didn't need my approval for whatever he'd found, having looked after dad in his last days, earning anything he discovered among a lifelong accumulation of junk. I long ago gave up on our father, and time never fabricated maudlin redemption in my eyes.

"This goes back," Wes insisted, "before his world fell apart."

"Look, stay here, eat something. I'll talk to you later. "

He eyed a server with a tray of wine. Slouched in the chair, he jammed his hands in his trouser pockets. "Okay, I'll wait." He cleared his throat. "Maybe one glass of wine?"

I started to protest but the furnace kicked in with a thump and a wave of heat washed over us from overhead vents. He closed his eyes as though a benevolent presence dispensed warmth on the needy.

I should have known better but I said, "All right, one glass, but I may be awhile."

"I can wait."

I pointed at the plate of food and headed back into the swirl of contented murmurs of praise for Vasily's sumptuous oils. The young Russian artist beckoned me toward an older couple who stood before the show's largest painting. Vasily flung an arm around my shoulder and grinned at the man and wife impeccably dressed in formal evening attire.

"Best goddamn gallery owner in city," he boomed at me, thickening his Russian for their benefit.

The wife blanched and her husband ignored Vasily's zeal. I noticed Mister GQ Magazine's diamond pinky ring and heavy Oyster Rolex as he edged back from the five-by-five canvas and grimaced at his bejeweled spouse. She held his stare and he looked back to the painting, a $50,000 magnificent Russian woodland scene of pale blue snow and shadows cast by dying afternoon sunlight, a startling reincarnation of Repin, Monet, and Renoir. I still could barely believe I'd latched onto Vasily before the major players found him.

The husband compressed his lips and shot his cuffs. "Your best price."

It was a practiced gesture, a demand rather than negotiation. I didn't get many assholes in the gallery but this guy just made valedictorian. I made eye contact with Vasily, one of the best artist-salesmen in memory. We both knew a sale stood in front of us, whatever the price. Dressed in black with a small neatly-trimmed black beard, he presented the perfect rendition of a successful artist, and I let him close the sale. His accent intensified as he waved at the painting.

"Ah, this one?" he intoned innocuously. "Best work in last two years." He raised three fingers. "You are third — how you say — expert to ask about it tonight," he lied.

Concern crept over the wife's features, ownership slipping away. She glared at her husband and set her lips in a matching grimace. Conceding defeat, he salvaged his ego as though considering a larger Bentley.

"My wife likes it, but I never pay face value."

Vasily gave the barest smile. "I do not think Adam resists ten percent reduction."

I nodded and matched his smile. "A check's acceptable."

Handshakes and smiles as we turned back to the painting. A waiter appeared with good timing and chilled chardonnay and we toasted the couple's exceptional taste, the wife gushing about hanging the acquisition above their new Brunschwig & Fils sofa. Try as I might, I couldn't avoid the sinking feeling that the astounding piece of art had been purchased as a sofa decoration. Only an interior decorator arriving with a swatch of cloth in hand struck more disgust in the heart of any gallery owner who loved art above adornment. However, in all honesty, I shouldn't have cared, having just covered the next six months' rent.

I cut my eyes toward the storage area where Wes waited. He rarely wanted to talk with me except when I bailed him out of drunk tanks from Chicago to California, sometimes with borrowed money, reluctantly excelling in the role of the younger brother playing Good Samaritan.

I offered another round of congratulations to the couple as Vasily promised to attend the unveiling at their home. He excused himself and I followed him through two more rapid sales, the night humming with magic called a buying frenzy in less sophisticated circles. Halogen spots radiated soft light off his magnificent paintings, breathing life into landscapes and village scenes to the delight of well-heeled buyers. As much as I loved their money, I loved the gallery more, reveling in opening the door every morning to walls of luminous oils encased in golden frames, my link to artists who painted their souls onto canvas and board.

Two hours later the last drinkers and dawdlers departed near midnight, the downpour having stopped, trading sleet for patches of ice along the streets. My calves ached after standing four hours in thin-soled Italian loafers, my smile cramping as I bid Sally and Vasily goodnight. Turning from the door, I faced the gallery, overwhelmed by the profusion of red dots indicating sales until I suddenly remembered Wes whom I'd left to the mercy of Damon and the snickering caterers. He'd kindled my curiosity with his claim of a supposed legacy from our father. Slinging my blazer over one shoulder I hurried into the work area. Two empty cabernet bottles sat beside the metal chair, Wes nowhere in sight.

I struggled to maintain my good mood. Angry but not surprised at being roped in by my brother again, I resolved to avoid him. Brother or no brother, I'd let him wallow in the gutter if he preferred life as a drunk. The thought killed my urge for a celebratory drink and I turned off the lights. I set the alarm system and locked up without a thought about the Lincoln still parked across the street.

CHAPTER 2

My phone rang at six-thirty next morning. I rolled over in the grey gloom and stretched my arm across the pillows before recalling I'd slept alone. Saturday mornings were not always so kind. Six girlfriends in four years left too many tangled sheets and tearful arguments. My last adventure, Cecilia, had morphed into a buy-me, take-me who consumed and then destroyed what I thought was a flourishing relationship. This morning, however, my bed and conscience remained intact after a profitable evening.

Rising onto one elbow, I fumbled with the insistent phone and fell back onto the pillow that preserved the aroma of the former queen of American Express.

"Hello," I said, hoarse from the previous night.

"Am I interrupting a tender moment?" Wes, always the wiseass.

"Only my sleep. Where the hell did you go last night?"

"Your wine selection was outstanding but my pride intruded. I got fed up with stares from minimum wage worker bees."

I sat up on the side of the bed, my previous evening's resolve fading as Starbucks asserted its addictive appeal. "You still want to talk?"

"I think we need to." The urgency I'd heard the night before resurfaced, and I wondered if it was a ploy to cajole another'loan.' Barbara had forbidden more Johnny Walker handouts.

"There's a Starbucks around the corner on LaSalle," I said."We met there a few months back, but you were pretty drunk."

"Too crowded. They jam coffee freaks in there like a Japanese commuter train."

Lingering elation from the previous night tempered my impatience. "Your call then."

"Dillon's for lunch. I'll save a booth in the rear. "

"Gee, an Irish pub. What a surprise."

"See you at noon."

He clicked off before I could suggest a quiet restaurant. I liked Dillon's, but bars represented luxury suites in hell with VIP elevators reserved for my brother.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Last Van Gogh"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Will Ottinger.
Excerpted by permission of Black Rose Writing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Last Van Gogh 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Thebookdevourer 5 months ago
I am a mystery fan but when you add some historical fiction - I am hooked. Incredibly well-written, fast-paced, with a compelling story that I just could not put down. Awesome is all I can say. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A life sized painting from the master Vincent Van Gogh painted while he was ill. A race to smuggle the painting out of Austria before the Nazis get her. A hundred years or so from when the painting was created two American brothers find out their dad willed the paying to them. The race was on to find the painting. This is a storyline created to show events over time with many interesting characters involved. Not familiar with the art world a lot of the names of artist were unknown to me making it a bit of a hard read. The story itself is well developed and interesting. The value of human lives verses a masterpiece was explored. The intrinsic beauty of the art and life like quality stirred the men who saw the painting revealing just how much creativity and artistic genius can create emotions in us. The value of this painting was measured not only in money but in human life. The question remains for me is any object worth killing for? Overall, I found a lot of the topics I gleaned from this book to be intriguing and caused me to reflect on my own value system. For this reason I gave it a high rating.
ReadersFavorite 8 months ago
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Adam is a struggling art dealer in Chicago. His most recent show promises to bring him some luck and fame, but the artist, Vasily Sorokin, is murdered outside the gallery. To make matters worse, Vasily’s uncle is part of the Russian mob. Adam’s brother, Wes, shows up with some letters and an unlikely story that their father had smuggled an unknown Van Gogh painting, a rather large one, out of France at the beginning of the Second World War. A hidden and undocumented painting. Adam hesitates to believe it. Their father, after all, was a drunk and a con man. But, with people all around Adam being killed and the Russian mob boss interested in financing a search, Adam begins an adventure that reads like a James Bond exclusive. In the end, though, he wonders if this painting, or any work of art for that matter, is worth so many deaths. Will Ottinger’s thriller mystery novel, The Last Van Gogh, takes the reader on an exciting adventure that spans two continents and two centuries. Written primarily in the first person, from Adam’s point of view, the author also incorporates multiple points of view in the third person, including the famed artist himself. The action-packed plot develops with rising tension and sporadic looks into Van Gogh’s troubled life from the artist’s perspective. The painting captures the attention of multiple evil powers and the plot thickens. The author uses powerful descriptive passages to set the scene and develop the characters with efficiency. Not only are the notations on Van Gogh credible and well researched, but the author has created a very plausible situation that will make the reader wonder what other missing masterpieces are hidden around the world. A fascinating read.
Kat-E More than 1 year ago
A riveting tale of a lost Van Gogh and and an art dealer that finds himself in the middle of a mad dash of ruthless killers that are desperate to find this unprecedented treasure. At times the amount of bad guys that were racing the clock to get the painting seemed mind boggling. But I felt this was realistic when you consider if such a painting truly existed it's value would be astronomical. Adam an art dealer that has a a small and struggling gallery along with Kat a former KGB agent are trying to find the painting that Adam's deceased father supposedly smuggled out of France during wartime. Juggling corrupt and ruthless Russians and professional assassins while attempting to locate this lost work of art had me glued to this book. My favorite parts were the musings of Van Gogh during flashbacks that were carefully interspersed throughout the story line.. I felt they were so real the author might have found pages from a diary of Van Gogh's. The imagery of the painting and the famed artist's mental state was superb. I am not usually a fan of violence and you must be prepared as there are some brutal and sad scenes in this novel. The likelihood that evil would be attracted to the ultimate prize is believable. Does this painting truly exist? Pick up this book and prepare for a whirlwind of a ride.
Kat-E More than 1 year ago
A riveting tale of a lost Van Gogh and and an art dealer that finds himself in the middle of a mad dash of ruthless killers that are desperate to find this unprecedented treasure. At times the amount of bad guys that were racing the clock to get the painting seemed mind boggling. But I felt this was realistic when you consider if such a painting truly existed it's value would be astronomical. Adam an art dealer that has a a small and struggling gallery along with Kat a former KGB agent are trying to find the painting that Adam's deceased father supposedly smuggled out of France during wartime. Juggling corrupt and ruthless Russians and professional assassins while attempting to locate this lost work of art had me glued to this book. My favorite parts were the musings of Van Gogh during flashbacks that were carefully interspersed throughout the story line.. I felt they were so real the author might have found pages from a diary of Van Gogh's. The imagery of the painting and the famed artist's mental state was superb. I am not usually a fan of violence and you must be prepared as there are some brutal and sad scenes in this novel. The likelihood that evil would be attracted to the ultimate prize is believable. Does this painting truly exist? Pick up this book and prepare for a whirlwind of a ride.
_forbookssakeReviews 5 months ago
When I first came across The Last Van Gogh on NetGalley, I was instantly interested, and had to read it. Van Gogh is one of my biggest inspirations as an artist, and I tend to read any book that I find which relates to him in any way. This book is in the ‘Mystery & Thrillers’ section on NetGalley, and thriller is usually my go to genre. The Last Van Gogh combines two of my favourite things, how could I resist? However, after reading a few chapters, I soon realised that this wasn’t going to be the exciting, mystery/thriller I had been so looking forward to getting in to. The Last Van Gogh is by no means a bad book, but it really didn’t live up to my expectations. But, I do think I built this up way too much in my head before I started reading, due to my huge passion for Van Gogh and his work, which may have been why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had anticipated. The whole story seemed a little uneventful. We followed the characters on their travels around Holland, France, and the US in search of the painting, but even though Adam was accompanied by an ex-assassin, and was being followed by a contracted killer, nothing major seemed to happen on these travels. It wasn’t boring to read, but I certainly wanted more action, and more excitement. The most thrilling parts in the story occurred while they were staying at home, and not out in search of the missing Van Gogh, which didn’t really make much sense to me. Surely it should have been the opposite way around? The story got a little more exciting towards the end, but by then it was a bit too late. I will say that Will Ottinger clearly did his research on the artist. The chapters that were supposed to be from Van Gogh’s point of view were packed with historical accuracy, and it was interesting to read a fictional representation of how Van Gogh may have felt during those times in his life. The characters were definitely a positive point for The Last Van Gogh. Ottinger did a great job of including a range of personalities, and portraying each one brilliantly in the process. There was definitely some serious stereotyping going on though… I won’t give examples, but if you do read the book, you will see exactly what I mean. The thing I enjoyed the most about this story was trying to visualise this immense, unknown, Van Gogh masterpiece for myself, throughout the book. Much like the characters in the story, I couldn’t get the painting out of my head. I kept picturing the image, the colours, the brush strokes, and the sheer size of the piece, and imagining what it would be like to see this incredibly beautiful painting in real life. I would like to say a big thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for sending me a copy. This book wasn’t terrible, but definitely could have been better. I give The Last Van Gogh a 3/5 rating.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
The Last Van Gogh is an exciting mystery. We follow three timelines - the late 1880's in Holland and France, the late 1930's again in Holland and France, and 2018 in Chicago, Holland, France, NYC and California. Our protagonists are brothers Wes and Adam Barrow, currently of Chicago but born and raised in California by a single parent art-loving alcoholic con-man named Robert Borrows. The historical story lines are told from the perspective of Vincent Van Gogh though not in his voice. The modern story line is told by Adam. Adam excelled in school and had an opportunity for college. Wes stayed home and took care of his drinking, dying father, then married his sweetheart Barbara and after a couple of years living in the family home in California with ups and downs and binge drinking and constant deep depression, they move to Chicago to change the scene, and to be near Adam, as Wes usually tries harder when Adam is around. Adam has a small art gallery on the verge of the 'bad' side of town but the biggest hurdle he must face is outliving his father's reputation. He has one excellent artist, Vasily Sorokin, and a couple more artists who sell occasionally. Even in Chicago Wes has an on-again, off-again problem with booze, but when Adam finds a need for him to work in the gallery while he is away, Wes dries out and does great. His wife Barbara and Adams assistant Sally help Wes, and they keep the Chicago gallery going while Adam and his Russian 'babysitter' Katia Veranova, go on an international trip funded by the Russian mob in Chicago headed by Viktor Krushenko and his main muscle, Arby (short for rebar and you don't want to know why) to begin searching for the history and location of the 'lost' Van Gogh that the Barrow boys father often bragged of while in his cups. While Adam doesn't believe it exists, Wes accidentally filled Viktor in on all the rumors and now his is their partner, like it or not. Viktor is the Uncle of Adam's best artist who is actually killed in front of The Adam Barrow Gallery as the brothers and Vasily close up shop after a very successful showing of Vasily's work. Wes takes a bullet in the leg. Adam's biggest problem is wondering if the Barrow brothers were the intended targets. To Wes the idea of a big influx of cash is a chance to start his life over again, and do better this time. Adam just wants to make a success of his gallery and find a girl and see Wes booze free and happy. But Viktor is not going to take no for an answer. The bad guys are coming out of the woodwork, and almost impossible to keep up with. There are Russians and a Couple of Robert Barrow's former pardners in crime, there are privately hired by who-knows-who characters tracking Adam and Katia across Holland and France, there is another attempt on Wes's life, there are several billionaires all trying to out think each other, to be there when the boys actually find the missing 'girl', a six by ten foot, impossible to hide painting completed by Van Gogh in 1880's Holland and perhaps rescued on the verge of World War II to France and/or the U.S. Both Wes and Adam eventually just want to live through the search. I received a free electronic copy of the excellent novel from Netgalley, Will Ottinger, and Black Rose Writing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
lee2staes More than 1 year ago
This is an stunning thriller disguised as an ordinary story. The beginning of this book is riveting and then it becomes more and more suspenseful. If you like searches for “lost” treasures, this book is for you. This was a great premise with good character development. It turned out to be quite a thriller and kept me interested until the end. My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review.