Tom Kirk's latest adventure in the world of art theft comes with a dash of historical conspiracy and treasure hunting excitement, not to mention the most famous painting in the world...
The Gilded Seal is a very good book. Rather straightforward review, I know. It has all the hallmarks that made The Double Eagle and The Black Sun, the first two Tom Kirk thrillers, page-turning thrillers that kept you up all night while Twining's prose dragged you along on the various escapades and life-threatening situations that he put his main protagonists through. The pace of Twining's writing for this latest volume, while a little slower, was tight and eloquent as ever, and as such was a pleasure to read.
For The Gilded Seal, we follow Kirk first from Scotland to Spain, in pursuit of the killer of one of his closest friends in the art underworld, a forger named Rafael. Then the action moves to Paris, where Kirk dupes his old partner from the FBI, Jennifer Browne, into helping prevent the theft of the Mona Lisa. All exciting and rather far-fetched, perhaps? Well, maybe, but one thing Twining is very good at doing is convincing his readers that what they're reading could very well happen.
If you're after a fun thriller that doesn't skirt the murky waters occupied by such twaddle as The Da Vinci Code and others of that ilk (i.e. something more intelligent and uncontroversial), then The Gilded Seal is something you should definitely pick up.
There's an excellent twist in the epilogue, which should raise a few smiles, too. Yet another highly recommended read from one of the UK's best new authors.