Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: The Icon Thief

The Icon Thief (Icon Thief - Book 1) by Alec Nevala-Lee

Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Pages: Paperback, 407pp
ISBN-13: 978-0451236203
ISBN: 0451236203


(Received for an honest review from Signet)


Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound


Alec Nevala-Lee on the WEB: blog, facebook, twitter


Synopsis:


A CONTROVERSIAL MASTERPIECE RESURFACES IN BUDAPEST. A BALLERINA'S HEADLESS CORPSE IS FOUND BENEATH THE BOARDWALK AT BRIGHTON BEACH. AND NEW YORK'S RUSSIAN MOB IS ABOUT TO COLLIDE WITH THE EQUALLY RUTHLESS ART WORLD...


Maddy Blume, an ambitious young art buyer for a Manhattan hedge fund, is desperate to track down a priceless painting by Marcel Duchamp, the most influential artist of the twentieth century.

The discovery of a woman's decapitated body thrusts criminal investigator Alan Powell into a search for the same painting, with its enigmatic image of of a headless nude.


And a Russian thief and assassin known as the Scythian must steal the painting to save his reputation - and his life.


The murderous race is on. And in the lead is an insidious secret society intent on reclaiming the painting for reasons of its own - and by any means necessary...


Thoughts

Alec Navala-Lee brings readers a novel that transcends genre boundaries with his latest release, The Icon Thief. Mytery and thriller readers, as well as art enthusiasts will find this a sophisticated and well written book. With everything from hedge funds to Russian mobsters, The Icon Thief boasts an international journey in search of a priceless painting.

As many of my readers can attest, I tend to lean toward cozy mysteries when it comes to the mystery genre, but every once in awhile a mainstream thriller will catch my interest. The Icon Thief is just such a book. Being a former history major and an art student, the work of infuential artist Marcel Duchamp was well known to me. Author, Alec Nevala-Lee does a fantastic job of introducing the reader to twentieth century art and the signifigance of this artist.

This was such an influential piece of art that it seems everyone was out to get it, providing a fast moving plot with lots of action. Maddy Blume, the heroine is in search of it for her Manhattan hedge fund. Investigator Alan Powell is searching for it in connection with a murder. A Russian thief needs it to prevent his own death, and then there's a secret society with reasons of its own for finding the painting. It reminded me a of a great race. It was exciting and kept the interest high throughout the novel.

Maddy Blume is a very resourceful character. She knows what she wants and generally how to get it. I thought Nevala-Lee wrote her as an intelligent and capable woman. I liked the way she related to those around her and her way of viewing the world. Alan was also a very interesting character, he had a way of doing things that a bit methodical but he did loosen up now and then and that made him a character that was easier to relate to.

Nevala-Lee kept me totally off balance with this one, until the very end of the book. Each chapter seemed to flow well, answering some questions while posing others and tying up all the loose ends in the conclusion. I liked the ending and look forward to the Nevala-Lee's next offering. I think this book will appeal to those who are into art, as well as, mysteries. The author gives the reader a history lesson in 20th century art, which I found very interesting. The motives were believable and the conclusion was satisfying. A very well written, intelligent read.

The Icon Thief is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.


I'm giving this 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



Alec Nevala-Lee was born in 1980 in Castro Valley, California. He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in Classics, and worked for several years as an associate at a global investment firm based in New York. He lives with his wife in Oak Park, Illinois.

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