The Gilded Seal (Tom Kirk Series)
It takes a thief to catch a killer . . .
Once one of the world's foremost art thieves, Tom Kirk now operates on the other side of the law. But a grisly discovery at the site of the brazen theft of a Da Vinci painting—a crime that bears the unmistakable hallmark of an old nemesis—entangles him in a lethal weave of a mystery that blankets the globe . . . and reaches back through hundreds of years of European history.
In Spain, a friend, a master forger, suffers a brutal, horrific death—while in New York the murder of a prominent attorney drags FBI agent Jennifer Browne into the murky world of high-end art forgery and the rotten heart of the global auction business. And for Kirk, vengeance may require him to cross the line once more—to uncover the devastating secrets hidden in the writings of a power-mad emperor . . . and behind the most famous smile in the world.
Besson come with them rather than remain alone. Her answer, though, surprised him. “Takeshi.” She ran through her evening, starting with the discovery of Besson’s body and culminating in her leading Takeshi and his men to safety through the secret room into the adjacent apartment block and from there out on to the street, well away from the massed ranks of police, ambulances and slack-jawed onlookers. “So Milo didn’t kill Rafael?” Tom said, frowning as he furiously retraced his steps and
recognizing the man’s voice and wondering if he’d misdialed. There was a pause. “Who is this?” There was a suspicious edge to the man’s voice. “Oliver Cook,” Tom improvised a name and a reason for calling. “I work for the London Times. We were hoping to get a quote from Mr. Quintavalle for a piece we’re running tomorrow. Who am I speaking to?” “Officer Juan Alonso of the Seville Police,” came the heavily accented reply. “The police? Is Mr. Quintavalle in some sort of trouble?” Another
for God’s sake. I could smell it on him. A plot to steal the Mona Lisa? Pah! He probably dreamed the whole thing.” “He seemed pretty convinced to me,” she reflected. “His friend too. Why would they make it up?” “What else has he got to do all day? He probably thinks it’s funny to have people like me running around in circles. Probably makes him feel more important.” “I think I’m going to mention it to Ledoux all the same. Just to be safe.” “There’s no need to involve him.” Troussard frowned
looked worried by the sight of the gash on her head. “What the hell were you doing? We agreed ten minutes.” “You were right.” She leaped over to the guard and felt for his matches. “Milo has had copies made. Three of them. And they’re in the back of that van.” She lit a match and dropped it on to the shimmering trail of petrol from the ruptured tank. It caught light immediately, a pale blue flame, barely visible in the daylight, that raced along the street in pursuit of the speeding van. They
done.” He stepped forward until they were almost touching. “But where does that leave me?” “That’s not my fault.” There was a desperate edge to Ledoux’s voice. “There’s hundreds of millions of dollars at stake here. It’s somebody’s fault.” “I thought you told me that you got the original back when Kirk tried to swap it for the girl. You can just use that to paint some more,” Ledoux suggested hopefully. “That wasn’t the original, it was another forgery.” Milo gave a hollow laugh. “Quintavalle