Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey

Back Cover: August 1944, Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country and steal countless pieces of irreplaceable art. In fact, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all - the Mona Lisa - as a postwar bargaining chip.

But the woman with the mysterious smile has some very determined protectors. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action and intrigue, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh Swish chateau, the race is on - and the runners are playing for keeps.

Review: Overflowing with artistic detail and luscious imagery of one of the world's most artistically and historically rich cities it is hard to believe Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey never lived in Paris. Both authors clearly invested an enormous amount of time into their research - a fact that I, as a reader, am truly grateful for. It is not often that I put down a fictional piece of work feeling like I have learnt something. The descriptions of the artwork and their various histories was fascinating, and my favourite part of the novel was the written journey through Mona Lisa's creation, her various homes and royal owners, and her passionate kidnapping in 1911.

Overall though, this book disappointment me a little - partly because I had very high expectations after reading the back cover. All the main ingredients for a great read are here, it just needed a little more. I would like to see more character development and "ground-level" depictions of their emotions and thoughts. I felt distant from the characters in this book, as if I was observing their adventures from afar. It lacked the gut wrenching fear, the bated-breath suspense, and the touching romance that it so easily could have embodied. Chasing Mona Lisa certainly has some very strong points - a good plot, great research, and an interesting choice of characters - a little more practice in making the reader feel attached and invested in the characters and this pair of authors could have a best seller on their hands.  I look forward to reading the next installment of this series to follow the development of this great writing duo.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

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