When a beautiful woman enters Michael Whiting’s London art gallery and asks for his help he is intrigued.
Isobel Sadler, as she introduces herself, has inherited a painting – ‘Landscape of Lies’ – completed c. 1537 and showing nine curious figures against a landscape background. To Michael the work is of ‘decorative value only’, but Isobel explains that an art historian, George Grainger, offered her £1,000 for it. She refused, but two days later she disturbed a burglar at her home trying to steal the picture.
She is convinced there is a mystery attached to the landscape. Michael teams up with Isobel, and by careful detective work learn that the heirloom is in fact a ‘puzzle map’ which, properly read, could lead to a cache of priceless relics, buried at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries by a rich Somerset priory. However, Grainger has also acquired a copy of the painting, and the race is on – only Grainger will stop at nothing, even murder.
A gripping novel of romance and suspense, Landscape of Lies has all the elements of a typical Hitchcock adventure.
About the author…
Peter Watson was for many years a journalist on the staffs of The Sunday Times , The Times andObserver . In 1982, after disguising himself as an art dealer, he exposed a gang of art smugglers who were stealing old master paintings in Italy and selling them in New York and London. The courier of the gang was a Roman Catholic priest attached to the Vatican’s mission to the United Nations. Watson’s account of the adventure, published in Britain as Double Dealer and in America as The Caravaggio Conspiracy , won a Gold Dagger Award from the Crime Writer’s Association. The BBC TV film of the book was nominated for an Emmy. He lives in London where his recreations are opera, fishing and cricket.