This is my first Ken Follett book and I knew going in it was not considered one of his best. In fact, he even acknowledges that himself in the book’s Forward. It is, however, a fun satire on the pompous and excessively self-important art world. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.
Follett introduces many, MANY characters, that can get hard to keep track of. Like Julian who’s preparing to open a new art gallery, bankrolled by his father-in-law’s money. Dee, an art student, on the hunt for a long lost Modigliani painting that could form the basis for her doctoral thesis. Peter is an up-and-coming London artist, frustrated by galleries that won’t give him the attention he thinks he deserves. There’s also Samantha, a successful but dissatisfied actress and her pill-pushing boyfriend Tom. Lipsey is the stealthy private investigator. Also, Lord Cardwell, who needs to sell his vast art collection to finance his lifestyle. And a bunch more, including crooks, journalists, art critics and more ever-so-British gallery owners.
This is not a story with rich character development. It’s much more a lighthearted mystery, an attempt at exposing a world where tons of money gets shifted around, where everyone is trying to impress everyone else, where most people know a whole lot less than they pretend, and where very little of consequence is at stake. In short, the art world.
It’s a quick read, ideal for beach or airplane ride. You’ll probably enjoy it the entire you’re reading and then promptly forget all about it.
More about Ken Follett.