Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: The Geneva Deception by James Twining

The Geneva Deception (Tom Kirk, Book 4)
by James Twining
Release Date: July 27, 2010
2010 Harper
Paperback Edition; 390 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-167187-6
Genre: Thriller
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

4 / 5 Stars

There is an art to murder . . .

In Rome, the Eternal City . . . three shocking homicides occur in three days—each a grisly re-creation of a painting by one of the most revered artistic giants of all time. But this new "artist" works in blood, not oils.

A reformed art thief on assignment for the FBI, Tom Kirk is in a Las Vegas casino with $20 million to purchase a Caravaggio masterpiece unseen for nearly half a century—a transaction that’s brutally cut short by gunfire. A shattering assassination rocks Kirk’s world, plunging him and unorthodox Italian detective Allegra Damico into an international web of evil that encompasses the Church, politicians, the police, and the Mafia. The road Kirk and Allegra must now follow is twisting and treacherous, winding through Vatican secrets, blood oaths, and Swiss betrayals. And death surely waits at the end.

My Thoughts
In this fourth instalment featuring Tom Kirk, James Twining offers a unique twist on Tom’s character as this time he includes an element of revenge. In The Geneva Deception, Tom Kirk enters the world of art theft and is up against corrupt art dealers, Italian Mafia, the police, the Church, and tomb raiders. What Tom is also up against is the profitable scene of art traffiking, where art worth multi-millions of dollars crosses borders and enters museums and private galleries, in very corrupt ways.

The plot and writing style were intricately written, fast-paced and suspenseful. I found that I really had to pay attention to the details and sometimes had to refer back to things that were previously mentioned as I overlooked a detail or thought something was unimportant only to have it become really important later on. While this can be disconcerting for some readers, I found it exhilarating to be kept on my toes, never truly knowing what was going to happen from one scene to the next.

Tom Kirk as a character is developing quite nicely in this fourth instalment although I don’t think we get to know quite as much of him in this novel as in the previous novels. It didn’t really seem to matter though, as the author shows the reader a glimpse of the world in which Tom was previously involved; it is really intriguing and makes you wonder exactly who he knew and what he really did in his previous life. The comments about his mother throughout the novel were also interesting, and the ending really blew me away as it definitely will lead into something fascinating in the fifth book that I can’t wait to discover. While many secrets were revealed in this novel, there are still many waiting to be uncovered in following books.

I really enjoyed Allegra Damico’s character as she was tough, courageous, brilliant, but sensitive, and I loved the way she drove as she blasted her way through many a scene in which she and Tom were trying to escape from their followers. She played a critical role in helping Tom discover the solution to the case and I really hope we see her again in future novels as I found her character intriguing; I don’t really feel like the author has done full justice to her character and there is a lot of potential there in developing storylines.

The Geneva Deception was an interesting, suspenseful novel to read and I enjoyed it tremendously. I’m not overly crazy about the title itself as I don’t feel it is completely appropriate, but the story was fun and full of twists and turns. What I really enjoyed is the fact that many of the art pieces mentioned in the plot are based on actual historical art pieces and their thefts and recoveries and I found that truly fascinating. It was nice to get a look at the black market antiquities and how the police are attempting to deal with the situation. I am looking forward to reading future instalments in this series.


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