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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Adam is a struggling art dealer in Chicago. His most recent show promises to bring him some luck and fame, but the artist, Vasily Sorokin, is murdered outside the gallery. To make matters worse, Vasily’s uncle is part of the Russian mob. Adam’s brother, Wes, shows up with some letters and an unlikely story that their father had smuggled an unknown Van Gogh painting, a rather large one, out of France at the beginning of the Second World War. A hidden and undocumented painting. Adam hesitates to believe it. Their father, after all, was a drunk and a con man. But, with people all around Adam being killed and the Russian mob boss interested in financing a search, Adam begins an adventure that reads like a James Bond exclusive. In the end, though, he wonders if this painting, or any work of art for that matter, is worth so many deaths.
Will Ottinger’s thriller mystery novel, The Last Van Gogh, takes the reader on an exciting adventure that spans two continents and two centuries. Written primarily in the first person, from Adam’s point of view, the author also incorporates multiple points of view in the third person, including the famed artist himself. The action-packed plot develops with rising tension and sporadic looks into Van Gogh’s troubled life from the artist’s perspective. The painting captures the attention of multiple evil powers and the plot thickens. The author uses powerful descriptive passages to set the scene and develop the characters with efficiency. Not only are the notations on Van Gogh credible and well researched, but the author has created a very plausible situation that will make the reader wonder what other missing masterpieces are hidden around the world. A fascinating read.