4 out of 4 stars
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The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami paints a vivid story of three separate couples living in three different periods in time, their lives inexplicably connected by a missing masterpiece depicting a Medici family member and his mistress painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. Art historian, Angela Renatus, teams up an art detective, Alex Caine, to investigate and solve the mystery surrounding the missing painting. However, they are not the only ones searching for it and Angela's creepy ex-boss at the Getty Museum is hot on their heels.
This book was written during the present day, the second world war and the 15th century. I enjoyed reading about the lives of all the couples. There was an overriding sexual tension elaborately thread throughout the storyline which linked the characters. That, combined with the time changes, the threat of the evil psychopathic ex-boss giving chase and the problem of the disappearing painting gave rise to a thrilling mysterious read. Belle Ami also liberally sprinkles Italian phrases throughout the book adding an extra dimension to the already culturally rich content.
Reality and the supernatural merge connecting the three couples. This could have been the weak link in the whole storyline but the author managed to pull it off with considerable aplomb. These were not my most favorite parts of the book but I cannot, in all honesty, find it in my heart to criticize them. I did feel, however, that the jump between events within the same time zone was often a little clumsy. For example, when Angela and Alex suddenly traveled to Florence. It was a surprise and I felt the book skipped on too quickly. However, these incidents did not spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.
There were one or two things which I felt needed clarification. Angela abruptly left the Getty Museum and was thereafter employed by Alex. However, her leaving was not discussed. I wanted to know how it had happened. Another example was when Fioretta lost Guiliana, how did she survive financially? She appeared to suddenly be a very rich independent woman and I thought this should have been explained.
As a point of interest, I believe the author should be congratulated on the title and front cover. Although some will criticise the rather loose Dan Brown connection, I feel this is less important than that of the connection to the Maestro, Leonard Da Vinci. In any case, it will undoubtedly draw interest in the book and that is exactly what an author requires when competing with so many other titles these days. I did not note any grammatical or spelling errors.
This novel is a complex story that has been well crafted with the clever use of three separate time zones. It includes a generous portion of interesting and famous people plus a romantic, culturally rich, country thrown in for good measure. I would like to award this book 4 out of 4 stars. Those with an interest in romance, art, the supernatural, the Italian language and Italy will enjoy this book. Anyone else with an interest in a good plot will also like it!
The Girl Who Knew da Vinci
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