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The Immaculate Deception by [Pears, Iain]
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The Immaculate Deception Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A good working rule for the police is to have as little as possible to do with politicians, but Flavia, acting head of the Rome Art Squad, finds herself deprived of that luxury when the Prime Minister involves himself in the case of a painting hijacked for ransom... Iain Pears' new thriller The Immaculate Deception picks up the story of Flavia and her British art-dealer husband Jonathan at a point where they are thinking seriously about the rest of their lives--Flavia is pregnant and Jonathan is in the process of selling off his remaining stock. The last thing they need is for Flavia to find herself at the heart of a major scandal involving illegal handovers of ransom, the last gasp of 1970s terrorism and a performance artist who has drowned in a vat of plaster. Meanwhile, Jonathan sets out to track down an unattributed painting owned by Flavia's former boss, and uncovers some neat little mysteries of his own... Art scholarship and police work are not that like each other, but Iain Pears wittily explores what analogies between them there are; he is intelligent about art, and marriage and Italian politics. This is a worthy addition to a charming series. --Roz Kaveney

Review

‘Pears is a delightful writer, with a light, ironic touch. This book dances with sunlight and colour, faded patinas and shifting standards, with humour and knowledge making easy companions’
Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday

‘Pears’s tremendous affection for Rome comes through strongly, making the city one of the most engaging characters’
Donna Leon, Sunday Times


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 671 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HY5EX4S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like Graham Greene, Pears writes both serious, philosophical novels (The Dream of Scipio and An Instance of the Fingerpost) and entertainments--in this case, the fascinating art history mysteries which feature Flavia di Stefano and her boss, Gen. Taddeo Bottando of the Rome police. These quirky detectives from the Art Theft Squad are back in action here, though with changed roles. Bottando is now semi-retired and Flavia, newly married to former art dealer Jonathan Argyll, is acting head of the department.
Life in Pears' Rome never pretends to be simple, and it's always loads of fun for the reader. Here the theft of a priceless painting on loan from the Louvre leads to the Italian prime minister's order to Flavia to find it, but she must not allow the public or the press to know about the theft, she must get it back no matter the cost, she must pay whatever ransom is demanded without using public funds, and she must do this knowing in advance that she will be a scapegoat--that the prime minister will publicly deny everything he's told her. As the search for the painting gets underway, further mysteries unfold, until even Bottando himself is implicated in an art theft.
Influence peddling, payoffs, and old political rivalries are both accepted and taken for granted here as Flavia negotiates the minefields of art and politics. The satire is gentle, and the action is non-stop. The intricacies of the characters' relationships keep the reader constantly challenged and always thinking, and the art history angle, more about provenance than about painters, should appeal to readers with little art background. The surprising conclusion and the major changes resulting to the lives of the main characters are stunning. If Pears continues this series, it will undoubtedly be in new directions. Mary Whipple
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Format: Paperback
Hopefully this is not the last we will hear of Flavia di Stefano and Jonathan Argyll, the ace art theft and murder sleuths who operate from Rome but seem to get around most of Europe (and further afield). But it is the last (to date) in the wonderful series of art history novels created by Iain Pears, and after 12 years of waiting for the next instalment, his fans are beginning to think that it may never arrive. To the book itself - little needs to be said other than The Immaculate Deception is very well titled as the story contains numerous mysteries for our heroes to uncover and the ending has a surprise neither dreamed of at the beginning of their investigations. As usual, Mr Pears has written a fast-moving and entertaining plot, touched with human frailties and humour.
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By A Customer on 23 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
This was my first introduction to Pears and I'd read him again. He has a lovely light touch and you might as well be in Piazza Navona the way he gets his Italian setting just right. The story? A mildly diverting caper that turns out to be a bit far-fetched. But the characters are well drawn and the yarn keeps you engaged.
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By A Customer on 12 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
I found both the plot and style of the book refreshing. Although I have to admit I missed becoming closely aquainted with the characters' deep inner thoughts and histories, the book style gives the reader a chance to think about the plots/subplots and form their own opinions on the characters. Why do we always rely on the narrator to tell us about characters via intricate details, when we ourselves can develop an impression through cleverly crafted points. Mr Pears has created a 'create-your-own-character' book, complete with intelligent plot and annoying end...who was that painting by?!!
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Format: Paperback
Have to agree with previous reviewer who comments about shallowness of characterisation. I can hardly believe that this was written by the same author who wrote An Instance of the Fingerpost, which is brilliantly executed as well as being a great story. In Immaculate Deception, you get the feeling the author wanted to get on with what he thought was a very clever plot without the usual encumberances of developing characters or having convincing dialogue. Having said all that, it did keep me reading as I wanted to find out what happened, so have given it three stars.
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By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Just to even the score here, I've given the book four stars. It isn't a classic of the crime genre but does deal with an interesting area - art theft - and the characters are charming. They aren't broken-down drunks or hard bitten ex-cops. In fact they're more likely to be solving crime with a glass of chianti in hand than getting all existential with a bottle of bourbon. All the better for that, I say. Salute!
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Format: Paperback
I only just managed to get to the end of this book because the plot was good. The narrator and almost every single character, good or bad, British or Italian, speak in the same middle class understated way, as if the author has never met any other sort of person.
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By A Customer on 23 Mar. 2001
Format: Hardcover
As this was the first of Iain Pear's art crime books that I had read, I did not know what to expect. However, I was not disappointed - this book is excellent; a real page-turner. The characters are real, likeable and easy to identify with, especially the stressed career woman Flavia and her husband Jonathan the art dealer, who finds it only too easy to put things off! I found no problem with the fact that I hadn't read previous books in the series: in fact, this book made me want to read the others. The descriptions of Italy make you want to go there and the art theme inspires you to learn more about art history as a subject. The plot itself is suitably gripping: it carries you with it as each new twist is uncovered and when you do start speculating about 'whodunnit', you are sure to be wrong! Iain Pears has the same knack as Agatha Christie for red herrings and making something so natural seem suspicious. The ending is far from predictable and ultimately satisfying. My only complaint was that the length and the fact that it was so addictive meant that I read it too quickly!
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