Clever and witty art history-mystery featuring Jonathon Argyll, scholar and sleuth, from the bestselling author of ‘An Instance of the Fingerpost’.
When an important, politically sensitive painting is kidnapped in Rome, life takes a downward turn for Flavia di Stefano, acting head of the Italian Art Theft Squad.
Things start badly when Flavia is told to get the painting back at all costs without causing any embarrassment to the country and without paying a ransom. Put in an impossible position, she turns for help to her old mentor General Taddeo Bottando, who is able to cast a wholly unexpected light on the crime. Flavia herself wonders if the subject of the painting, a classical landscape by Claude Lorraine, might be significant.
In the meantime, her husband, the English art historian Jonathan Argyll, embarks on an investigation of his own. As a gift to Bottando, he decides to establish the provenance of a small Renaissance painting, an Immaculate Conception, currently hanging on the wall of the general’s apartment.
For both Argyll and Flavia, the search for the truth reveals shocking secrets from the past and leads them straight into the path of some very dangerous enemies indeed.
The Immaculate Deception is an absorbing, witty and ingeniously plotted novel, combining a gripping murder mystery with a fascinating art-history puzzle.
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A Very Nice Copy.Review:
A good working rule for the police is to have as little as possible to do with politicians, but Flavia, acting head of the Rome Art Squad, finds herself deprived of that luxury when the Prime Minister involves himself in the case of a painting hijacked for ransom... Iain Pears' new thriller The Immaculate Deception picks up the story of Flavia and her British art-dealer husband Jonathan at a point where they are thinking seriously about the rest of their lives--Flavia is pregnant and Jonathan is in the process of selling off his remaining stock. The last thing they need is for Flavia to find herself at the heart of a major scandal involving illegal handovers of ransom, the last gasp of 1970s terrorism and a performance artist who has drowned in a vat of plaster. Meanwhile, Jonathan sets out to track down an unattributed painting owned by Flavia's former boss, and uncovers some neat little mysteries of his own... Art scholarship and police work are not that like each other, but Iain Pears wittily explores what analogies between them there are; he is intelligent about art, and marriage and Italian politics. This is a worthy addition to a charming series. -- Roz Kaveney
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2326604
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002326604