Sloane has always traveled so light he doesn’t even need a first name. As a gifted young painter, he drifted through the art worlds of London and New York without ever seeing his star rise; agreeing to suave gallery owner Robert Parsons’s proposal that he paint a few canvases to be signed with more famous names, he did fine work and also did two years in prison without ratting Parsons out. But the tempera hits the fan with the news that Jane Graham, the older, once-famous American painter with whom Sloane had an affair 40 years ago, is dying in Pisa, and that the deathbed revelation she wants to make to him is that her daughter Connie is his daughter too. Will Sloane track down the estranged lounge singer and make peace among all three of them? Of course he will, if Connie survives her reunion with her own former mentor, sharp-dealing Manhattan club owner Vincent Delaney, whose last disagreement with a singer left her dead. Charlie Resnick chronicler Harvey (Now’s the Time, 1999, etc.) does a beautiful job in evoking the New York still alive with echoes of Sloane’s magical year with Jane. But he’s less convincing when he turns from asking how Sloane—with or without the help of the two NYPD detectives getting on Delaney’s case—will succeed in separating Connie from her baleful protector than in suggesting what kind of future the unlikely father-daughter duo will have.
Except for the forgivably formulaic windup, a lovely, jazzy noir Tale of Two Cities.