Following on from her phenomenal first novel, Maestra, LS Hilton continues Judith’s journey, now known as Elisabeth Teerlinc, as she relocates to Venice to continue on with building her new life as an Art Dealer. Coming a little too close to the authorities in Paris, she has decided the place to be is Italy, a place where things are not always considered all that closely and Venice seems to be a beautiful part of the world, where people generally have money to spend and often, do not always consider the provenance of the merchandise for sale.
But as the days begin to unfold in her new lifestyle, she finds that living life on the edge of serious disrepute is not all that different, regardless of where you go: that the people on the seamier side of the industry still seem to be able to find you.
It is not until Elisabeth receives an offer from well-known Russian collector Pavel Yermolov, to travel to his home in Russia to evaluate his collection, along with a sizable recompense for her troubles, does she really enter into the dangerous world of Art forgery on a massive scale. Yermolov’s collection was something that had been bandied about the art world for years, as something of a mystery, possibly a rumour or even a legend and now, she was being offered the opportunity to undertake a private evaluation.
Her journey to Russia proves to be the beginning of something even she, with her lack of any sort of moral compass, begins to realise, has far more layers, far more players, than she would ever have once considered possible when she was a junior, setting out to learn her craft.
As she become more entwined in the ultra-rich world of clandestine art and art forgeries Elisabeth realises she has been set up, but why and by whom. She draws on her personal resources of high fashion, endless sexual conquest and a delicious love of murder, to meet the daily challenges being presented, as she struggles to survive in this new world of the super-rich.
Once again LS Hilton has presented a well-researched journey into the underworld of erotica, dark and dangerous deeds, and the people who inhabit these sub strata’s of society, where anything goes and anything is accepted.
There is something dark, vulnerable, comical and absolutely enjoyable, touched with a little irony and sarcasm, built into the heroines character which will appeal, as each of these characteristics lurks within each of us, with the salient point being, that we perhaps, manage to keep them slightly more under control.
Book two in the series has proven to be equally as enjoyable and page turning as the first, therefor it will be interesting to see how LS Hilton manages to round out the trilogy.
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|