A hotheaded Georgia judge and her probate lawyer husband do battle with a gang of rapacious art collectors and their murderous gofers, in a first novel by a Georgia trial lawyer.
Everybody’s after the amber room, the eye-popping paneled chamber stripped from its suburban St. Petersburg palace by the Nazis in the fading days of the Reich. Not the most practical living space, you understand, but unique, having been crafted from micro-thin layers of the best Baltic amber by the best Baltic craftsmen. Passed from autocrat to autocrat, Hitler wanted it. Göring wanted it. The Allies nearly bombed it. And Karol Borya, a kindly Ukrainian concentration camp survivor, father of that hotheaded judge in Atlanta, is one of the only people in the world with a clue as to where the pretty but dismantled and disappeared room may be, having been witness to the torture of its last known possessors. Alas for old men with old secrets in thrillers, there’s always a pretty assassin waiting in the kitchen to pump you for your knowledge. Here, the villainess is sexy Suzanne Danzer, beloved employee of Czech billionaire, Nazi industrialist, and Soviet collaborator Ernst Loring, member of an ultra-exclusive clutch of stupendously wealthy gents who specialize in collecting stolen masterpieces. And while Suzanne is at Borya’s backdoor, Christian Knoll, yet another employee of yet another supercollector is at the front. They both want to pick his brain in the most unpleasant way, hoping to pin down the whereabouts of that Tsarist treasure. Pumped serially for his secrets by the evil duo, poor old Karol gets heaved downstairs to his death, a demise that will drag his daughter Rachel and ex-son-in-law Paul from the comforts of metropolitan Atlanta to the corrupt corners of Middle Europe. Stilettos fly and silenced bullets plunk, but the plucky legal team, reunited by their special mission, dodge death and poke their noses into darkened churches, spooky tunnels, secret passageways and hidden rooms. Will they live to see their beloved children? Or that rock-lined room?
Is the Pope Catholic?