Botticelli’s Bastard

Written by Stephen Maitland-Lewis
Review by Laura Staley

Giovannie Fabrizzi finds one of the paintings he inherited from his father speaks to him. Literally. At first he fears he is going crazy when he hears the voice of a Renaissance-era nobleman, then he begins to listen. Soon he finds himself separated from his cheating wife, at odds with his busy, concerned son, and chasing down a mystery that may implicate his family in Nazi art looting operations in World War II Paris.

Smoothly written, the story revolves around art theft and art provenance. It is not a techno-thriller with detailed descriptions of how painting are restored or authenticated – a little more of that kind of detail might have been a bonus – but rather a story about relationships, friendship, and the ethical and emotional conflict between the lure of a huge and lucrative coup – the possible detection of an undiscovered Old Master – and doing the right thing.

The cover is attractive, and the book is very well-crafted. Recommended.