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A portrait holds the key to recovering a cache of looted artwork, secreted away during World War II, in this captivating historical art thriller set in the 1940s and present-day Amsterdam.
When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Historical Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same painting, the portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
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Table of Contents
Dedication; Two more crates; Bedtime routine; Stolen objects; Deflated expectations; Think on your heart; Flying drones across Museumplein; Searching for stolen masterpieces; Girl with a vase; Irises; Proof of ownership; Covering their losses; Burden of proof; Haunting memories; Who can he trust?; An unexpected development; Faulty memories; Damn this war!; Plain lying; Different social circles; The missing link; A ray of hope; Convoluted lineage; Breaking the trust; CSI: Amsterdam; Change of plan; The parakeets of Vondelpark; Drone flyby; Occupied Amsterdam; Exhibition in the Van Gogh Museum; A cache of missing masterpieces; Invasion of privacy; I told you so; Taking stock; Lover’s deceit; Return to Urk; Burglary in Amsterdam; A safe place; Somewhere to stay; Hopes and fears during World War II; Friedrich makes a discovery; Preparing the space; Answered prayers; A friend’s trust; Family trees and chocolate croissants; An unexpected visitor; Breaking and entering; Ladies first; Impatience is a virtue; Justice served; The scene of the crime; The healing power of tea; Acknowledgements; About the Author; Marked for Revenge: An Art Heist Thriller