Death and Restoration
A Jonathan Argyll MysteryUnknown - 1998
From the author of the internationally bestselling literary sensation An Instance of the Fingerpost comes Death and Restoration, the sixth in Iain Pears' much-loved Jonathan Argyll art-mystery novels. The monastery of San Giovanni on Rome's Aventine Hill has no real treasures, except for one huge and disturbing painting, dubiously attributed to Caravaggio, of the breaking of Saint Catherine on the wheel. It's not a subject likely to appeal to many buyers of stolen art. But a Caravaggio is a Caravaggio -- or is it? Following a recent burglary at the monastery's chapel, there's little left to steal, so Flavia di Stefano of Rome's Art Theft Squad is particularly puzzled when she receives a tip that thieves plan to raid the building. What is there, except perhaps the Caravaggio, that professionals could covet? Even stranger is the sudden arrival in Italy of Mary Verney, an Englishwoman and thief whom Flavia and her art-expert fiance, Jonathan Argyll, have encountered before. She may be there as a tourist, but it's unlikely. Is Mary after personal riches, or is her trip, and her possible involvement in a theft, inspired by more terrifying circumstances? Jonathan also wonders about the intentions of Daniel Menzies, the "Rottweiler of Restoration," who is restoring the supposed Caravaggio in the disused monastery chapel where even the candles in front of a nearby icon of the Virgin and Child, long venerated by the local population for its special protection of those who offered prayers, have been extinguished. Something strange and threatening is occurring both inside and outside the monastery, and Jonathan and Flavia feel powerless when they fail either to stop a theft or a murder. As the two search for answers through the maze of monastic and police bureaucracy, they gradually reveal a surprise more shocking than even they had imagined. Rome is ancient and full of secrets, some of which never should be revealed, and Iain Pears is at the peak of his powers in this exquisitely rendered crime novel in which the Roman setting plays as memorable a role as any of the players.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 
Branch Call Number: Pea
Characteristics: 223 p. ; 23 cm.
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