Set in modern-day Italy, this compelling first novel concerns old-world paintings and current politics, as well as the timeless issues of love and betrayal. A native Canadian, recently divorced, Kate Roy finds emotional healing in her apprenticeship as a conservator of paintings in Rome's Palazzo Torreleone. She is grateful when an American, Nick Taliaferro, saves her from an attempted mugging, but she becomes suspicious when, over dinner, he shows particular interest in the aristocratic Torreleone family, whose paintings she is in the process of restoring. Kate is fond of Count Massimo Torreleone and disturbingly attracted to his son, Alessandro, a notorious playboy who works for the Italian Treasury Department. Shortly after recognizing the count's niece in a student riot, Kate discovers that the most valuable Torreleone painting has been replaced by a forgery. These plot threadsand others ranging from left-wing terrorism to international art and financial scamscome together the night of Carnevale when Kate is pursued through the cellars below the palazzo by a sadistic thug trying to murder her and the count. Old-world mores and the ``business'' of restoring masterpieces sharply complement the tension of modern-day danger and Kate's personal skepticism. With its rich atmosphere, deftness of plot and fully dimensioned characters, this accomplished debut delivers on its promise of romantic suspense and plenty more. (July)
This first novel is a romantic suspense thriller set in Rome during Carnival. Divorced Canadian Kate Roy, an apprentice art restorer, discovers that a famous painting owned by a prominent Roman family is really a forgery. Suddenly her life becomes a series of questions. Is the man who saved her from a mugging truly romantically interested in her, or is he after information about the family? Why is the family's dashing son suddenly paying her such charming attention? Any why is a supposedly radical student trailing her? Is he the same man who nearly killed her boss? The answers to these and other questions are all resolved in a lethal encounter during a masked ball. Suitable for fans of Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.