From internationally bestselling author Iain Pears comes the seventh in his Jonathan Argyll series an intriguing mystery of love, loss, and artistic license. For newlywed and Italian art theft squad head Flavia di Stefano, the honeymoon is over when a painting, borrowed from the Louvre and en route to a celebratory exhibition, is stolen. Desperate to avoid public embarrassment and to avoid paying a ransom the Italian prime minister leans hard on Flavia to get it back quickly and quietly.
Across town, her husband, art historian Jonathan Argyll, begins an investigation of his own, tracing the past of a small Renaissance painting an Immaculate Conception owned by Flavias mentor, retired general Taddeo Bottando. Soon both husband and wife uncover astonishing and chilling secrets, and Flavias investigation takes a sudden turn from the search for an art thief to the hunt for a murderer.