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By Ken Follett

A fabulous "lost masterpiece" turns into the final word prize for an paintings historian whose ambition consumes all people round her, an indignant younger painter with a plan for revenge at the artwork institution, and a determined gallery owner who could have double-crossed his personal lifestyles away...

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The dusty air in entrance of her face swirled head over heels in the blow. She snuffed the candle and went up into the church. The priest was once now not round, so she left a donation within the field and went out into the light. She dropped her dusty panties within the nearest muddle bin: that will provide the trash creditors meals for idea. She consulted her road map and commenced to make her method towards the second one condominium. anything was once bothering her: anything she knew approximately Modigliani—his early life, or his mom and dad, or anything. She strained to convey the elusive notion to brain, however it used to be like chasing canned peaches round a dish: the idea was once too slippery to be grasped. She handed a café and learned it used to be lunchtime. She went in and ordered a pizza and a tumbler of wine. As she ate she puzzled even if Mike could mobilephone this day. She lingered over espresso and a cigarette, reluctant to stand one other priest, one other church, extra dusty work. She used to be nonetheless capturing in the dead of night, she discovered ; her probabilities of discovering the misplaced Modigliani have been super slender. With a burst of decision, she stubbed her cigarette and acquired up. the second one priest used to be older and unhelpful. His grey eyebrows lifted an entire inch over his narrowed eyes as he acknowledged: “Why do you need to examine work? ” “It’s my profession,” Dee defined. “I’m an paintings historian. ” She attempted a grin, however it looked as if it would make the fellow extra envious. “A church is for worshippers, now not travelers, you see,” he acknowledged. His courtesy used to be a skinny veil. “I’ll be very quiet. ” “Anyway, we now have little or no paintings the following. basically what you spot as you stroll round. ” “Then I’ll stroll round, if i could. ” The priest nodded. “Very good. ” He stood within the nave looking at as Dee walked quick round. there has been little or no to work out: one or photos within the small chapels. She got here again to the west finish of the church, nodded to the priest, and left. possibly he suspected her of desirous to scouse borrow. She walked again to her lodge, feeling depressed. The solar used to be excessive and scorching now, and the baking streets have been virtually abandoned. Mad canine and artwork historians, Dee inspiration. the non-public shaggy dog story didn't cheer her up. She had performed her final card. the one real way to hold on now was once to area the town and take a look at each church. She went as much as her room and washed her fingers and face to dispose of the airborne dirt and dust of the crypt. A siesta used to be the one brilliant solution to spend this a part of the day. She took off her outfits and lay at the slim unmarried mattress. while she closed her eyes the nagging feeling of getting forgotten anything got here again. She attempted to recollect every little thing she had discovered approximately Modigliani; however it was once no longer much. She drifted right into a doze. As she slept the solar moved prior the zenith and shone powerfully in during the open window, making the bare physique perspire. She moved restlessly, her lengthy face frowning a bit of now and then. The blonde hair turned disarrayed and fixed to her cheeks. She woke with a commence and sat up instantly. Her head throbbed from the warmth of the solar, yet she neglected it. She stared immediately sooner than her like anyone who has simply had a revelation.

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