After the passing of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, his private art collection goes up for a charity auction. During a public exhibition of the art pieces one of the paintings goes missing and war photographer Luke Johnson is accused of stealing it. His friend Benoît is kidnapped and held for ransom while Luke and his ex-girlfriend are on the case to clear his name and rescue his friend, and the missing masterpiece.
Oh, how I wanted to like this book more than I did. Paris and art heists – a few things I love to read about. The premise of the story was compelling, with an intriguing story, but the way the characters were written turned me off from the book altogether. I stopped counting the number of times I cringed at how the female characters were depicted in this book. One woman is a bit of a caricature of a manic female, being completely erratic and over-the-top when talking to Luke. Many are whimpering nothings that all (of course) want him, throw themselves on him and lose themselves around him. One character stutters, and that wasn’t enough to just establish that but everything out of her mouth was written in “stutter”. Foregoing the women in the story for a bit, the interactions between characters in general was just as painful. There was way too much of an asinine conversation in which whether something is art or not was debated ad nauseum in one scene.
The potential for an interesting story is definitely there, I really wanted it to be, but the horrible female characters and the annoying interactions are really painful to see past. The premise of this book, the whole idea of it, I really wanted to like. That being said, given the other reviews online for The French Art of Revenge, I seem to be in the minority on my opinions of this book. There are many who did enjoy it and maybe those who don’t have the same hangups I had about the characters will enjoy it too.