The sequel to L.S. Hilton
's last year's hit, Maestra
is yet another gripping thriller featuring Judith Rashleigh
. Finally enjoying the life all her past deeds have won her, Judith is living in Venice running an art gallery. She's caught off guard when someone who knows too much makes an appearance and threatens her new life. She must work to find a painting she does not believe exists and unfortunately she's not the only one looking for it.
Her attempts to avoid being found out take her from Venice to Paris to Belgrade and to St Moritz, cities filled with art and beauty which provide a brilliant backdrop. The author's descriptions of artwork and the cities are wonderfully detailed and show her personal love for both, unlike her descriptions of clothes- which is essentially nothing more than designer name dropping. Still she works a combination of the two to create scenes of glamour and decadence amidst the fast pace tale.
The protagonist doesn't seem to undergo any character development, but you get glimpses into her past, some of which is surprisingly tenderly written. Her self-serving personality is one you either like or dislike but won't likely inspire any personal desire for her survival. The pace of the story however keeps you gripped.
Like Hilton's Maestra, this book is fast moving, filled with art, opulence, murder, and sex. The writing style is crisp and the story isn't particularly strong, but chances are you'll stick with it to the end. How critics view the book: Greg Fleming
of the NZ Herald
puts it in the category, "sunburn books - the kind where you tell yourself, 'I'll read one more page before I leave the beach' and before you know it, you've been sunburned."