Threatened by Nazi blackmailers, a Dutch art dealer conceals stock from his gallery leaving a tangled trail of clues to art treasures buried somewhere in Amsterdam. Years later, when art history student Zelda Richardson gets an internship at a prestigious Amsterdam Museum, she takes on the job of tracking down the history of an apparently unimportant painting. Faced with museum officials who aren’t exactly supportive towards her, Zelda’s future at the museum seems in doubt. But when two different women turn up claiming the painting, she follows her instinct and discovers there’s a lot more to the artwork than anyone guessed.
When I started reading this book, I hadn’t realised it was the second volume in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series, but luckily it made no difference to my enjoyment. In true Dan-Brown-Da-Vinci-Code style, this is an intriguing mystery that highlights the plight of homosexuals and Jewish artists in Europe during and after World War Two. The story is well researched and at times quite fascinating in the way the protagonist uncovers the clues in her search for the truth. Having said that, I occasionally found the pace a little slow and was hard-pushed not to skip passages in order to get to the excitement of the chase.
All in all, this is a clever take on a complex subject that kept me guessing until the end.
I reviewed this book as part of the events leading up to Mystery Thriller Week.