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Shvoong Home>Books>Novels & Novellas>The master's painting Review

The master's painting

Book Review   by:tina_k     Original Author: Arturo Perez-Reverte
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If you're looking for a thought-provoking book, capable to satisfy any tastes, you should go for "The Master's Painting", an excellent novel written by the Spanish best-seller author, Arturo Perez-Reverte. Art, chess, murder, love and social bonds are intertwined in this elegant, seductive mystery, written in the manner of Umberto Ecco's "The Name of the Rose".When Julia, a young art restorer, who works for the famous Prado Museum in Madrid, discovers a long-covered inscription on a Flemish painting, she is pulled into a shadowy world, where the past and the present seem to cross. Her painstaking restoration of "The Game of Chess", by Flemish master Pieter van Huys, leads to a mystery which revolves around the painter's question: "Who killed the knight?" .With the aid of Cesar, a middle-aged homosexual antiques dealer, whom Julia regards as a father, the history of art professor Alvaro, who is also Julia's ex-lover, and the quiet chess master Munoz, Julia find out that one crime begets another, down through five centuries. When Alvaro dies, possibly murdered, van Huys' riddle becomes relevant, not only to the characters and the chess game represented in the painting, but also to Julia and her friends, in this rather seamy art community.The author, also a TV journalist in Spain, uses the chessboard as a metaphor for various human interactions, and his characters' analysis of the painting's symbols and of the details of the frozen chess game, is clever and really suspenseful. In fact, he portraits his characters with great likeness for details and focuses on the psychological consequences of their actions.All in all, "The Master's Painting" is well worth reading, since is well-documented, intriguing and catchy. In my opinion, a psychological thriller which anyone might enjoy.
Published: January 20, 2008   
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