16139436Author John Pearce has crafted a novel, part thriller, part mystery, with a plot that pulled me in and kept me interested in the story all the way to the end. A nice writing style that kept me flipping those pages, figuratively of course as mine was a Kindle. Though it is fiction, it has a basis in truth. The treasure of the title is artwork looted by the Nazis during the work and a lot of it still missing to this day.

Eddie Grant, a very distant relative of the Civil War hero and President, lives in Paris and runs a string of English language schools and manages the family stocks. His mother French, a resistance fighter, his father was an American military officer who’d settled in France after the war.

Our story begins when an old acquaintance from the States, Jen Caster, delivers a letter for his father, unaware he’d been killed seven years before in an auto accident. Her father had been killed in a hit-and-run and in his safe deposit box was a letter to be hand delivered to Eddie;s father in the event of his death.

The two men had been friends going back to the war, Eddie’s an officer, Jen’s an NCO, who’d worked together during and for a few years after the war tracing stolen artwork and returning it the proper owners.

It all starts things up when kidnapping is attempted, demands for the painting, murders, both in Paris and Florida where Jen and her father had lived. Eddie ties his father’s death, Jen’s father’s, and even the murders of Eddie’s wife and son to it all.

The big prize is the most valuable painting still missing: Raphael’s The Portrait of A Young Man, it’s value estimated at a hundred million plus. This is all true. Some believe it destroyed, others that it lies in a bank vault waiting for the right person to claim it.

Had a fine time with this thriller. If that sort is to your liking, get this one. Available in both paperback and Kindle.