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Synopses & Reviews
When an aristocratic old lady is brutally murdered in her English country home on the night before September 11, 2001, it will take all the resources of the FBI and Interpol to work out the connection between her death and a priceless Van Gogh, which is stolen that night.
But in the end, it is a courageous young woman who escapes from North Tower of the World Trade Center after the first plane crashes into the building, who has the foresight and determination to take on both sides of the law and avenge the old lady?s death.
The young woman, Anna Petrescu, takes advantage of being missing and presumed dead in the days after 9/11 to escape from New York City, only to be pursued by both the FBI and a ruthless assassin across the globe, from Toronto to London, to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Bucharest. But it is only when she finally returns to New York that the mystery unravels.
In his first thriller since The Eleventh Commandment, international bestselling author Jeffrey Archer takes the reader on a breathtaking journey, full of twists and turns, all leading back to the question of why so many people are willing to risk their lives to own Van Gogh?s "Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear." And it's not just because it could be worth one hundred million dollars.
"Even though Archer (Sons of Fortune) grounds his international art-thievery thriller in the events of 9/11, this leisurely paced, tepid effort has a musty feel. It's September 10, 2001, and Lady Victoria Wentworth is sitting in spacious Wentworth Hall considering the sad state of family fortunes when a female intruder slips in, slashes her throat and cuts off her ear. The next day in New York, art expert Anna Petrescu heads to her job as art wrangler for wealthy magnate Bryce Fenston of Fenston Finance. The pair's offices are in the Twin Towers, and when disaster strikes, each sees the tragedy as an opportunity to manipulate a transaction scheduled to transfer ownership of a legendary Van Gogh painting, Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, from the Wentworth estate to the larcenous Fenston. The initially intriguing character, hit-woman and ex-gymnast Olga Krantz, turns out to be too lightweight, both physically and fictionally, to garner strong interest in anything other than her deadly skills with a kitchen knife. Lord Archer has been busy for the past five years or so serving half of a four-year prison sentence for perjury and writing a series of books about his prison experience; his first novel in seven years disappoints." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages."
--"The Boston Globe"
"A storyteller in the class of Alexander Dumas...Unsurpassed skill...making the reader wonder intensely what will happen next."
--"The Washington Post"
"There isn't a better story-teller alive."
"Archer is a master entertainer."
"Cunning plots, silken style...Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader."
--"The New York Times"
"Archer is a terrific story-teller, and meets the reader's ultimate tests - to want to turn the page to see what happens next."
--"Sunday Times," London
"Probably the greatest story-teller alive."
--"Mail on Sunday"
A new thriller — the first since 1998 — from the author of such bestselling suspense novels as HONOR AMONG THIEVES and THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT.
Why was an elegant lady brutally murdered the night before 9/11?
Why was a successful New York banker not surprised to receive a woman's left ear in the morning mail?
Why did a top Manhattan lawyer work only for one client, but never charge a fee?
Why did a young woman with a bright career steal a priceless Van Gogh painting?
Why was an Olympic gymnast paid a million dollars an assignment when she didn't have a bank account?
Why was an honors graduate working as a temporary secretary after inheriting a fortune?
Why was an English Countess ready to kill the banker, the lawyer and the gymnast even if it meant spending the rest of her life in jail?
Why was a Japanese steel magnate happy to hand over $50,000,000 to a woman he had only met once?
Why was a senior FBI agent trying to work out the connection between these eight apparently innocent individuals?
All these questions are answered in Jeffrey Archer's latest novel, False Impression, but not before a breathtaking journey of twists and turns that will take readers from New York to London to Bucharest and on to Tokyo, and finally a sleepy English village, where the mystery of Van Gogh's last painting will finally be resolved.
And only then will readers discover that Van Gogh's Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear has a secret of its own that acts as the final twist in this unforgettable yarn.
Why was an elegant lady BRUTALLY MURDERED the night before 9/11?
Why was a successful New York banker not surprised to receive A WOMAN'S LEFT EAR in the mail?
Why did a young woman with a brilliant career steal an IMPRESSIONIST PAINTING?
Why was an honors graduate working as a temporary secretary after INHERITING A FORTUNE?
Why was a SENIOR FBI AGENT trying to work out the connection between these four apparently innocent individuals?
A breathtaking journey of twists and turns from New York to London, from Bucharest and on to Tokyo ends up in a sleepy English village where the mystery surrounding Van Gogh's last painting will finally be resolved.
About the Author
Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords and two in Her Majesty's prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimed Prison Diaries. All of his novels and short story collections - including Kane and Abel, Honor Among Thieves, and Sons of Fortune - have been international bestsellers, selling over 120 million copies worldwide. Archer is married with two children and lives in London and Cambridge.
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