WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Whenever you see either Sotheby’s or Christie’s in the news, it is more than likely because they sold another multimillion dollar painting of a famous painter that has been dead for a very long time. The art world is a place where the dealers rule the roost and decide which artist gets to have his work shown in the galleries. And for an artist, that is quite possibly the only way they can have their talent popularised and actually be able to make some money. While the internet is a good medium, serious buyers are still old school and they prefer the art galleries still.
While Ken Follet’s “The Modigliani Scandal” came out far too early to tackle the internet, it definitely portrays all that goes on in the art world. The story revolves around several characters but the central connection to all of them is a Modigliani painting that was not known about and is presumed to be with a priest in a far off village. Dee Sleign, an art historian working on a thesis about how drugs induced painters to veer off their usual styles, comes to know about this lost painting and writes off a postcard to her uncle Charles Lampeth, who is an art dealer, setting off a sequence of events that end up in the complicated plot and surprising twist at the end.
While Ken Follet’s books are usually thrillers and filled with suspense, it has to be said that this book is a disappointment in that respect. Follet tries to portray human emotions faced with different circumstances while at the same time make them a victim of the plot twists, a mix that didn’t gel well enough to be a satisfying read. However, that is only because of the high standards Follet has created for himself, and the book still has some very good plot twists which will surprise the reader.
If you are looking for an edge of the seat thriller, then this definitely isn’t the one that you want, but if you want an enjoyable read with some good twists, then “The Modigliani Scandal” is a decent book to go for.