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Lacey Quinn just wanted to confirm her grandfather's talent. David Quinn was an unheralded painter in the 1920s, and Lacey has inherited hundreds of his works. When she learns about a charity benefit in which people can have work evaluated by renowned artist Susa Donovan, she seizes the opportunity. Lacey doesn't realize that one painting will set off a chain of events that will threaten her life.

Rarities International operative Ian Lapstrake's newest assignment is as bodyguard and companion to Susa while she's in Southern California. Susa immediately assumes David's unsigned work is the work of Lewis Marten, an artist who died decades earlier in a fire. Lacey is devastated, because now it looks as if her beloved grandfather was a forger.

Then there are his horrific pieces that depict violent death. Why did David paint these scenes? Lacey is in the uncomfortable position of not knowing where to turn or what to divulge, but Ian and Susa soon take matters out of her hands, as they quickly become interested in the mystery. When Lacey's pictures are stolen and her shop burned to the ground, Ian starts to fear that someone doesn't want the death pictures to see the light of day.

Charming and easygoing, Ian is a marvelous hero, with an exterior that hides a dark, dangerous edge. This is one of Lowell's best. Fast-moving, sexy and thoroughly intriguing… you can't ask for more in a book! (Jul., 400 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith