Author: Cathi Stoler
Publisher: Camel Press, 2011
My Rating: B
A Summary of the book (from the publisher):
When a chance encounter in Florence’s Uffizi Museum plunges Women Now editor Laurel Imperiole and private investigator Helen McCorkendale into an investigation of missing persons and stolen Nazi art, the women find themselves ensnared in a deadly maze of greed and deceit.
Could the man Laurel bumped into have been Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and friend who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11? Was it possible he was still alive and had disappeared without a trace?
As she delves deeper, Laurel leaves the truth behind, telling lies to [her boyfriend] about her actions and the liaison she’s formed with Lior Stern, an Israeli Mossad agent with an agenda of his own. One lie leads to another, entangling everyone and everything the women encounter, including murder and the painting at the heart of the affair.
The plot was intricate and fast paced. I’ve often thought the collapse of the twin-towers and disappearance of so many bodies could be used effectively as part of a mystery book. The author did it well. (Please note: I am not making light of the tragedy of 9/11. I’m only suggesting the use of a historical event as part of a story.)
The only part of the book that caused me to bring my rating down to a B was the main character. She didn’t feel real to me. I thought her a little dumb although she’s supposed to be a smart magazine editor. She blundered about and seemed rude. I really wanted to, but I just couldn’t like her.
I don’t see too many of this sort of novel around much any more. That’s a shame. I think many readers will like this kind of multi-country, sophisticated intrigue. It could be those books are out there and I’m just not paying attention. I hope the author will consider a second novel similar to this one. Cathi Stoler is a good writier. But, next time I want her to give me a more likable main character.
Check your local library or local bookstore for a copy of this book. Telling Lies is also available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)