Friday, October 23, 2009
"False Impression", by Jeffrey Archer
In this thriller, the author brings his readers along with his protagonist Anna Petrescu on a chase around the world from New York during the tragic events of 9/11, to England, Romania, Hong Kong and Japan. The novel combines criminal conspiracy, a Van Gogh, a ruthless assassin, a Romanian art expert and Bryce Fenston an opportunistic and ruthless banker.
The story is quite exciting, slow at start but maintains a steady pace throughout. It opens with the prospective sale of an original Van Gogh and the timely murder of its owner, one of England's aristocrats Victoria Wentworth. At the same time, in New York, Bryce Fanston calmly awaits confirmation from his accomplice so he can foreclose on the assets of Victoria.
Missing and presume dead after 9/11 Anna an art expert and former employee with damaging information on Bryce uses the event to escape America and avenge Victoria's death. The mystery unfolds when Anna's suspicions attract the FBI and Interpol. Working together they discover the links and motives between the Van Gogh and Victoria's murder.
The novel gives us a bit of art history, also all kinds of twists and turns and heart stopping intrigues. Anna's ultimate determination had me riveted as I followed her to exotic locals around the world. Maybe the plot becomes implausible towards the end; Anna is way too clever and cool to be real, but she is smart and loveable. We have all the elements needed to make this a pager turner: vicious murders, a tab of romance, clever double crossing and a shocking ending.
Mr Archer is a great storyteller; I find it surprising to see so many reviewers disappointed with this novel.