Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on 6 Aug, 2022 in Australian Crime Fiction, British Crime, British Thrillers, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Romance, Television shows, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly 4 August 2022

This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three books about the dark side of the art world.

Woman On Fire by Lisa Barr (Welbeck, 5 July 2022)

Lisa Barr’s Woman On Fire (Welbeck, 5 July 2022) is a highly entertaining read that mixes suspense, family drama, thriller elements, history and romance into an enjoyable concoction. It moves along at a good pace and Lisa’s interesting research on the history of art stolen by the Nazis and what happened to it is nicely woven into the book.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Lisa Barr’s Woman On Fire is an exquisitely written novel about obsession, history and art. Young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual assignment: find a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II.  The painting is the legendary Woman On Fire by artist Ernst Engel. Renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants the painting for personal reasons, but he is not the only one. Powerful and wealthy heiress Margaux de Laurent is also searching for it, and she will stop at nothing to own it.  Caught in the middle, Jules quickly realises just how dangerous the art world can be. Recommended.”

Picture You Dead by Peter James (Macmillan, 26 July 2022)

Peter James’ Roy Grace novels are always a popular addition to the annual reading calendar and his latest one, Picture You Dead (Macmillan, 26 July 2022), is another diverting read. This is the eighteenth entry in the series and James’ provides his usual mix of interesting characters, easy flowing writing and a topical plot.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Obsessive art collectors also feature in Peter James’ Picture You Dead. James’ series about Brighton police detective Roy Grace has become a mainstay of the British crime scene over the past decade, and has recently found its way onto television screens. In Picture You Dead Grace becomes caught up in the deadly side of art collecting, when ordinary couple Harry and Freya discover a 1770 masterpiece hidden behind another painting.  Targeted by a determined collector, the couple find their dreams dashed and their lives in danger. An accomplished and enjoyable novel that will appeal to James’ many fans.”

Note: Picture You Dead was released in Australia on 26 July 2022, but it does not seem to be released in the United Kingdom until 29 September 2022.

Framed by John M. Green (Pantera, 2 August 2022)

John M. Green’s Framed (Pantera, 2 August 2022) is a confident, fast moving thriller that offers plenty of action and good dollops of art history, and information on the darker side of the art world. The central character, JJ Jego, is an engaging guide through the violence and suspense, and her roguish father Hugh is also entertaining. The detail on how criminal enterprises use stolen art works is fascinating and there is a very up-to-date feel about the plot.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

Framed by Australian author John M. Green moves quickly from Sydney Harbour to Belfast and Monte Carlo, as art conservator JJ Jego becomes drawn into a web of intrigue surrounding stolen art works. The accidental sighting of a long-lost Van Gogh in a Sydney apartment sets JJ on a quest to discover whether it is real or not. Her determination to settle the painting’s provenance, however, sets her against a nasty pair of international crooks who want their painting back. This is a fast moving, contemporary thriller with a clear eyed understanding of the linkages between the art and criminal worlds.  Good fun.”

I also did a slightly longer review a couple of weeks ago:

So some interesting takes on the darker side of the art world.

Leave a Reply