Art restorer Leone Fleming is quite pleased with her quiet life sharing a space with her friend Philippa's increasingly chic gallery off the north end of the Portobello Road and most of her leisure time with her father, prominent judge Sir Richard Fleming. Then little ripples begin to ruffle the calm waters. Whitcombs Gallery has sent Leone a charming portrait executed in 1742 by Walter Devis for cleaning. Its provenance is quite clear, yet she finds herself with doubts about the picture's authenticity. Expressing them incites the fury of Piers Carlton, son of the owners, who makes all manner of threats. Meanwhile, a killer sentenced by Sir Richard to prison is out--and looking for revenge. Still haunted by dreams of the mother who one evening said good night and vanished forever, Leone dreads any danger to her father. Their close tie once split her from her lover, Jack. Now he, too, is back. Meanwhile, Philippa takes up an exciting new artist and seems prepared to risk all on a show, and perhaps on an unwise affair. As the ripples build into waves, Leone is uncertain where to turn, even if one clear direction is back into her own muddled memories of the past. A shocking murder forces an election--and a revelation. Moving quietly and intelligently, but with a clear sense of menace, Dunbar's twisty plot is peopled with vivid, sympathetic characters. After authoring several historical sagas, she succeeds in crafting a well imagined, suspenseful thriller.
Scottsdale, AZ :, Poisoned Pen Press,, 2000.
1st U.S. trade paperback ed.
277 p. ;,22 cm.