The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh [4/10]

It’s 1963 at the Louvre and a mysteriously lovely jewelry expert is asked to appraise some ornate piece that sparks her teaming up with a Mossad agent to track down a heinous Nazi in hiding, with a crusty lawyer thrown into the plot. Such an immensely appealing setup but “The Pearl Thief” disappointed. Undoubtedly this reflects a genre bias, and if you’re a fan of Fiona McIntosh’s many novels, read no further. During my reading, I admired many of the set scenes, amidst glorious (or hideous) surrounds, I almost warmed to the characters, and I exhibited interest in this quintessential quest for two-decades-delayed justice, yet the florid mawkishness of the otherwise solid writing, plus enormous slabs of expository dialogue, curdled my enjoyment.

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