Friday, 18 November 2016

The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

The Paris SecretThe Paris Secret by Karen Swan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren't all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family's affairs - but just what is he hiding?

Well written with good atmospheric passages which transport the reader into the heart of Paris, Vienna, Antibes and London.

After a property has been broken into in Paris a long-forgotten apartment is discovered that contains priceless artworks dating back to Vichy France. The building is owned by the Vermeil family who had no idea of the apartments existence until they are informed that the building has been broken into. Madame Vermeil is anxious to know what is in the apartment.

We are introduced to Flora a fine art adviser and auctioneer who is sent to Paris to verify artworks that might be in the apartment, clearly these art artworks seized during the Nazi occupation which is why they were hidden away for so long. Flora has to authenticate the artworks but can only trace them back to Franz von Taschelt, a Jew who appears to have swindled fellow Jews out of their collections during Nazi rule. Of course, under these circumstances no one wants to touch the paintings so the collections in terms of selling on is worthless.

Flora is set up in Vienna in one of the Vermeil family homes to start cataloguing the collection and meets Xavier the owners son a brooding mysterious character who despite herself Flora is attracted to.

Well written characters, good story subject that takes us back in time to WW11 and the German occupation and secrets that span decades waiting to be discovered along with a romance thrown in for good measure. Lovely introduction to the art world that would be good holiday reading material. A well deserved 4 stars from me.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

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