BURNT SIENNA by David Morrell


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Hokey suspense thriller about a tough ex-marine and world-class painter (think Rambo-Rembrandt) who risks all for a

beautiful woman.

So there’s Chase Malone leading the good life south of the border—paintings going for $200,000 per—when suddenly the

snake enters the garden. The snake: international arms merchant Derek Bellasar, who never saw the patch of blue he couldn’t

discolor. He wants Chase to paint his wife. Naturally, Chase plumps for artistic integrity, saying no to this blatant attempt at

undermining his independence. Even though a huge commission is offered for painting one of the most beautiful women in the

world, Chase knows what he owes his art. But angering Bellasar is an invitation to big-time trouble. In a trice, local laws get

manipulated and unfriendly bulldozers begin taking take dead aim on Chase’s house, and the gallery doing so well by his canvases

gets sold—to his nemesis, of course. The message is clear: Whatever Bellasar wants he gets, and all the more fun if it’s the hard

way. At this point enter the CIA with rafts of disquieting information bearing on the bellicose Bellasar. Turns out he’s more than

just a casual sociopath; he's downright certifiable, intent on murdering Sienna, his wife, once her portrait is finished—the same

fate that’s been meted out to three previous wives. To rescue the enchanting Sienna—and stymie certain nefarious experiments

of a biological nature—Chase becomes the CIA’s man on Bellasar’s French Rivera estate, seemingly acceding to Bellasar’s wishes.

Careful what you wish for, Bellasar.

A standard Morrell performance (Black Evening, 1999, etc.): Sturm und Drang signifying not much. (Film rights to MGM

Pictures & Pierce Brosnan’s production co.)

Pub Date: March 2nd, 2000
ISBN: 0-446-51964-2
Page count: 387pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2000


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