By: Susan Fleet
Publisher: Music and Mayhem Press
Published: November 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: November 29, 2014
Susan Fleet quickly ramps up the action in the latest edition of her Frank Renzi Crime Series, Natalie’s Art.
Thanks to an art heist gone bad in Boston in 2008, Art thief Natalie Brixton (Valerie) had to reinvent herself after shooting former Boston cop, Frank Renzi. In a London museum in June, 2010, Valerie surfaces. After fleeing Boston, Valerie landed in Paris and became a high class call girl. That was just the beginning of her new life. Lucky for her, reclusive and diabolical mastermind, Londoner Jonathan Pym discovers Valerie, and decides to rescue her. He moves her to London to be with him full time and perhaps now, Valerie’s permanent ‘do-over’ has begun. However, this one comes with a price—a price that places her not only under the constant and watchful eye of Pym, but in a situation where every decision she wants to make would be made for her.
It was no coincidence Valerie was handpicked by Pym. It would seem Pym had done his homework and learned she had stellar talent when it came to stealing coveted and iconic art. Ironically, Pym loved priceless art. While Valerie's ‘job’ proved to be nerve-wracking, what made it worse was her soulless partner in crime, Steven Haas (Gregor). Valerie maintained certain standards. Under no circumstances would she kill any of the victims subjected to their life of thievery. Sadly, when forced to make the choice between freedom and killing a witness at the behest of Gregor, Valerie raised her Beretta, pointed and shot. With no time to waste, she grabbed the Rembrandt and was gone in the wind...
What I always find fascinating about a superbly written crime series is the non-stop twists and turns of plot that begins on page one and continues to ramp and accelerate with the turn of each page. Susan Fleet has mastered this concept. From the onset of Natalie’s Art, there is a ‘come hither’ nuance that Fleet pens through word placement that translates to: 'Hold on, pay attention, you’re about to go on an amazing adventure!' Ms. Fleet adeptly applies a unique personality for each of her characters to assume and own; yet, she leaves a bit up to the imagination of her reader to fill in the blanks toward finishing touches. The pace and tone is set immediately in Natalie’s Art and the subject matter is interesting. The dialogue is crisp and without question, believable. The plot? Well, who doesn’t like a twisting and turning plot that focuses on the ‘kidnapping’ of iconic works of breathtaking art? Fleet’s backdrop places the reader teetering back and forth between two continents, oceans apart and confidently sets credible scenery in each set up that supports the non-stop action. This is the fifth book in her Frank Renzi crime series. What Natalie’s Art did for me was to convince me to take a wander back to the beginning of this series and read the first four leading up to this one! Well done Ms. Fleet. I look forward to your next novel.
Quill says: Natalie’s Art is a fast-paced, action-packed read that will have you cheering for the bad guy (girl, in this case) as much as the cop who’s life mission it is to catch his alluring thief!