A Dangerous Talent
Author: Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins
Thomas & Mercer
“A Dangerous Talent” in this case is an inherited one – a connoisseur’s eye for art, along with the ability to work with art restoration. These are the talents that Alix London inherits from her father. Unfortunately, her father also left another inheritance – he went from being a top art conservator to a convicted art forger. After his conviction, Alix dropped out of Harvard and accepted an art apprenticeship in Italy.
Now she is living in a luxury condo in Seattle’s Belltown district – except that the condo is not hers, she is living there for one year in exchange for restoring several paintings for the condo owner. She has brains, looks, and breeding … but a personal history that my keep her from accomplishing her goal of working in the art
When she gets the chance to act as art consultant for novice art collector Christine Lemay, she jumps at it. Off they go to Santa Fe, so that Alix can authenticate a Georgia O’Keefe painting that Chris’s old friend and art gallery owner Liz Coane has offered her.
Friendships are formed and broken, and all is never what it seems – including the casita that Alix is supposed to occupy in Santa Fe. It blows up, and it was not an accident! Then there is the relationship between Alix and her estranged father, who is now out of prison and owns his own import company in Seattle.
From cars suspended from the ceiling in the Seattle Art Museum to a breath-taking chase in a Lamborghini, private planes, elegant surroundings, elegant cloths, and elegant people that are not what they seem … you just want to keep reading!
The story lines have story lines in this book – including the little tid bit about art forgers always including a common “marker” in all of their paintings to identify themselves, and the world of art patron and heiress Mabel Dodge Luhan.
This is a well written, fast paced book that shows a deep understanding of the people and the environment in Seattle, Santa Fe, and the art world. I lived in Seattle, and have visited Santa Fe, so I can attest that the picture portrayed in this book is a true one for both locals. A very enjoyable read!
© May 2012 Bonnie Cehovet