Friday, August 31, 2007

Book Review: False Impression

I haven't read all of Jeffrey Archer's work, but what I have read left me with pretty positive impressions. It's been a really long time since I read one of his novels or short stories, though. The thing I like about him is that he tells good stories without getting caught up in all the emotional melodrama that a lot of trade paperbacks get caught up in these days. I mean, he tells a story that centers around a plot, i.e., action, not a character/emotions drama. Don't get me wrong, I love some character-driven authors (Anita Shreve comes to mind) but it's kind of nice to sit down with authors like Archer and Dan Brown every once in a while.

I really didn't think that this book was all that bad, but the reviewers at Barnes and Noble online would disagree. Sure, it wasn't all that great, but it was entertaining. I stayed up to finish it in one sitting. I enjoyed the international and artistic influences.

The main character in the book is an art expert who works for a small bank that frequently loans money with works of fine art as collateral. The bank's president is an art collector himself who, unbeknowst to his expert, has been charging huge interest rates until the clients lose everything but he will never sell the art off because he wants it for himself. When Anna, the expert, recommends to one client that she request the bank to sell her van Gogh to satisfy her debt, the client is mysteriously murdered and Anna is fired. The van Gogh had already been picked up and set for delivery to the bank in New York on September 11, 2001. That's right. Anna is actually in the North Tower when the plane hits it, but manages to get out, and the van Gogh is stuck in London because no planes can fly into the United States. So now the race is on: who will get to the van Gogh first? The bad bank president, or Anna while assisting the dead woman's family?

Like I said, nothing groundbreaking, but entertaining in its own right.

Lindsey's Grace: B-

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