The Brodsky Affair: Murder is a Dying Art
The Brodsky Affair covers the discovery of a lifetime for introverted art dealer Jack Manton. Several of the works of the enigmatic Russian painter Brodsky have been missing since his incarceration during World War II, and when Manton sees what looks like a pair of Brodskys surfacing in an obscure online art auction based in Australia, on offer for a fraction of their value, he’s initially half-convinced that he must be mistaken. However, when closer examination proves them to be irrefutably real, Manton realises that he isn’t the only person looking for the missing Brodsky paintings, and his competition is well-heeled – and well-armed.
Ken Fry has a nice touch with his genre, creating a set of believably human characters caught in circumstances that become increasingly more dangerous and lead them across most of Europe. The first few chapters give a bad impression of the book, as they hop from character to character before settling in for the ride, but as the danger level escalates from rude letters from the bank to armed mafiosos and car chases across Paris, the story becomes increasingly gripping. Present-day scenes are neatly interwoven with historical cameos following Mikhail Brodsky himself, caught on the Russian front of World War II. The action is well-written, and the author avoids the frequent temptation in thrillers to cast their protagonist as the next Jet Li, keeping the story credible. Certainly a worthwhile thriller read.