MOSAIC by Gayle Lynds


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Schmaltzy potboiler, as grievously flawed as Lynds's first (Masquerade, 1996). This time, a rogue CIA agent and a blind but beautiful concert pianist are pitted against murderous relatives, one of whom is days away from being elected US President. It must have been the Liszt--as soon as internationally famous pianist Julia Austrian plays the mad Hungarian's ""Transcendental Etudes"" in London, she discovers she can see again. Born with normal vision into a phenomenally wealthy family, Julia lost her sight as a teenager after suffering a bad case of stage fright. A decade later, she barely has time to tell her mother, Marguerite Redmond Austrian, that she can see again when Marguerite, and her unfortunate cab driver, are blown away in what appears to be a drive-by robbery by a masked gunwoman who, assuming Julia is blind, lets her live. The trauma causes Julia's blindness to return, but she's determined to avenge her mother's death. What Julia doesn't know is that the gunwoman was really after a highly confessional cache of memoirs by her father, Lyle Redmond. The worst of Lyle's sins: the wealthy dynasty he founded with banker Dan Austrian (who became Julia's grandfather) was built with stolen Nazi loot and, later, a murder kept the theft a secret. With conniving former Supreme Court Judge Creighton Redmond, Julia's uncle, now running for President, the Redmond clan can't afford to let the family secret leak out. And so, numerous blackmails, payoffs, and murders take place. Straining probability, Julia pairs off with Sam Keeline, a CIA agent of peerless integrity who has trouble getting his own guilt for the death of his girlfriend. They fall for each other as Julia struggles to regain her sight and Keeline defies his corrupt superiors to hunt down the stolen loot Overwrought, churlish melodrama, laden with gratuitous religious symbolism.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1998
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Pocket