Friday, September 17, 2010

The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn

I received Davis Bunn's latest book, The Black Madonna, from Glass Road Public Relations for review. It is the second Storm Syrrell adventure, and continues to chronicle the antique dealer's escapades that started in Gold of Kings. I've not read the first one, but after reading The Black Madonna, I'm hooked, and I'll be looking for Gold of Kings.

I don't normally care to start a series with a second or third book, but the characters and plot line were written so well in The Black Madonna that it could very well stand alone. Yes, there were a few allusions to events in the first book, but they lasted long enough to give them context in this story and then moved on.

In The Black Madonna we're immediately plunged into intrigue when Harry Bennett, a treasure seeker, is caught in a bombing in Hebron. It soon becomes apparent that there is more going on than being caught in a random bombing in Israel. Storm Syrrell, facing bankruptcy with the family business, gains a new, anonymous client with a very deep pocket—a definite boon to her business. But then her best friend Emma Webb, a Homeland Security agent, is pulled into the events when she learns that Harry is dead and Storm has been called away to a mysterious meeting in London. When the CIA comes to question Emma about her friendships with Harry and Storm, Emma and her boss realize there is more under the surface than anyone wants to reveal.

After several kidnapping attempts, a tension-filled rescue out of Israel, a strange visit to Poland, an attempted murder, and several more seemingly unconnected antique acquisitions, Storm and Emma race to discover what is going on in the background.

The Black Madonna is an excellent blend or adventure, romance, and intrigue—all of which I've come to expect from Davis Bunn. It did not disappoint, and I highly recommend this book. I look forward to more excellent reads in this series.

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