My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Natalie’s Art is Susan Fleet’s latest crime thriller – the fifth in the Frank Renzi novel series. This time, Frank is tracking Natalie Brixton, his foe from the third book in the series, Natalie’s Revenge. This story first finds Natalie in England, trapped and coerced into stealing priceless works of art and committing acts of violence; then later, in Boston, USA, the one place she really doesn’t want to be, the place where she knows the cops are still looking to capture her for her previous crimes. Compelled by her ‘benefactor’ and intimidated by his henchman, Natalie is forced to take part in an audacious heist on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but she is only one cog in the machine and a complex web of other accomplices is needed to pull it off. Will she manage it, will she escape, or will Frank finally catch his prey?
I really enjoyed reading Natalie’s Art and I love Susan Fleet’s writing; the story is strong, the dialogue realistic and the plot complex. It is a serious and dramatic book; it contains violent scenes, in context, and builds confidently to a series of exciting climaxes. Frank is still a compelling character, although he does not feature as much as one might expect: the real star of this book is Natalie herself; she is multifaceted, thoughtfully written and very sympathetic. The supporting characters are all three-dimensional: some are clearly ‘good’, some are clearly ‘bad’, but there are many layers to Natalie, which is what makes her so fascinating. The book starts with a bang, goes out on a high and is an exciting read throughout. For Readers’ Favorite.