A DECEPTIVE CLARITY by Aaron J. Elkins

A DECEPTIVE CLARITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Elkins has switched hero-sleuths from anthropology (The Dark Place, 1983) to art history in the person of Chris Norgren, sent by his San Francisco Museum boss to help install a show of Old Masters owned by collector Claudio Bolzano at the American Army base in Berlin. Coolly elegant curator Peter Van Corflandt meets Chris briefly on his arrival, drops an enigmatic hint about a forgery amongst the paintings, takes off for Frankfurt and is found dead in sordid surroundings a day later. Chris spends the next couple of weeks getting almost killed in an attempted storeroom robbery, falling for Air Force Captain Anne Greene, flying to Frankfurt, London and Florence--as he struggles to identity, the forgery--and escaping bullets and a bomb along the way. Eventually, he finds the so-called forgery and Van Cortlandt's murderer as well, but the complex solution seems undermotivated for all the mayhem involved. Chris is a likable sort and things move at a lively clip, but this is a feast for the art-oriented only. Others may find it more of a famine.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1987
Publisher: Walker