Book The Rembrandt Affair

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The next morning, when the painting was thoroughly dry, he covered it with a fresh coat of varnish. Chiara caught him standing in front of the canvas, one hand to his chin, head tilted slightly to one side. "Is she ready for her coming-out party?" asked Chiara. "I think so, " said Gabriel. "Does she approve of your work?" "She's not speaking to me at the moment. " "Another quarrel?" "I'm afraid so. " "Have you made a decision about Washington?"more...

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Gabriel had one final request, and this time Navot did not object. One didn't bring a knife to a gunfight, Navot conceded. And one never went to war against a man like Martin Landesmann without Ari Shamron in his back pocket. 44 THE MARAIS, PARIS Many years earlier, Maurice Durand had stumbled across a newspaper article about the case of Christoph Meili, a private security guard who had the misfortune of being assigned to work at the Union Bank of Switzerland's headquarters on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. While making his rounds on a January afternoon in 1997, the devoutly Christian father of two entered the bank's shredding room and discovered a pair of large rolling bins filled with old documents, including several ledgers detailing transactions conducted between UBS and Hitler's Germany. Meili found the presence of the material in the shredding room more than a little suspicious, since weeks earlier Swiss banks had been prohibited by federal law from destroying wartime documents. Sensing something was amiss, he stuffed two of the ledgers under his shirt and smuggled them to his modest home outside Zurich.more...

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They are locked away behind barricaded doors and accessed at great risk to those who possess them. It meant the evening's proceedings would be an interrogation of sorts. Gabriel knew from experience that the surest route to failure was the application of too much pressure. He began with what appeared to be an offhand remark about how much the city had changed since his last visit. Lena Herzfeld responded by telling him about Amsterdam before the war. Her ancestors had come to the Netherlands in the middle of the seventeenth century to escape the murderous pogroms being carried out by Cossacks in eastern Poland. While it was true that Holland was generally tolerant of the new arrivals, Jews were excluded from most segments of the Dutch economy and forced to become traders and merchants.more...

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Ten minutes later, when she came out, I could see she'd been crying. When I asked what was wrong, she snapped at me to be quiet. After that, we climbed onto a streetcar and rode aimlessly in circles through the city center. My mother was staring out the window. She was saying the same words over and over again. 'What am I going to tell your father? What am I going to tell your father?'" "The painting was gone?" Voss nodded.more...

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" "Like one of my tailor-made suits, petal. In fact, we were able to reach a deal very quickly. I was to deliver the painting to Washington, fully restored, in six months' time. Then the director of the National Gallery would unveil his prize to the world. " "You didn't mention the sale price. " "You didn't ask. " "I'm asking. " "Forty-five million. I initialed a draft agreement of the deal in Washington and treated myself to a few days with a special friend at the Eden Rock Hotel in Saint Barths.more...

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He greeted the man circumspectly and led him to the privacy of the upper exhibition room. Just as Isherwood suspected, Mr. Radcliff's tour was brief. He frowned at a Luini, clucked his tongue at a Bordone, and appeared puzzled by a luminous landscape by Claude. "I think I like it, " he said, handing Isherwood an envelope. "I'll be in touch. " Then he lowered his voice to a whisper and added, "Make sure you follow the instructions carefully.more...

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She had to become Zoe before revelation. Zoe before truth. Zoe who was keeping a secret from her colleagues at the Journal. Zoe who was risking her reputation for a man known to all the world as Saint Martin. The mind is like a basin, Zoe. It can be filled and emptied at will... And so it was this version of Zoe Reed who alighted from her car and bade good night to her driver. And this Zoe Reed who punched the code into the entry keypad from memory and stepped into the elegant lift.more...

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"Where is it now?" "It was stolen a few nights ago in England. A man I knew a long time ago died trying to protect it. " "I'm truly sorry to hear that, " Voss said. "But I'm afraid your friend wasn't the first to die because of this painting. And unfortunately he won't be the last. " 32 MENDOZA, ARGENTINA In Amsterdam, Gabriel listened to the testimony of Lena Herzfeld. Now, seated on a grand terrace in the shadow of the Andes, he did the same for the only child of Kurt Voss. For his starting point, Peter Voss chose the night in October 1982 when his mother had telephoned to say that his father was dead.more...

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Gabriel cast a glance at Chiara. Her face was expressionless. "This is where Liddell's body was found, " Harkness said. "The studio is one more flight up. " The detective stepped carefully over the evidence markers and started up the stairs. Gabriel entered the studio last and waited patiently for the detective to switch on the halogen work lamps. The harsh white glow was hauntingly familiar, as was everything else about the room. Indeed, with a few minor changes, Gabriel might well have mistaken the studio for his own. In the center stood a tripod with a Nikon camera pointed toward a now-empty easel. To the right of the easel was a small trolley cluttered with bottles of medium, pigment, and Series 7 sable brushes by Winsor & Newton.more...

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Zoe had a date with Martin in Paris in three days. Break that date, and Martin might become suspicious. Send her into Martin's bed too many times with her head filled with secrets, and she might end up like Rafael Bloch. For his classroom, Gabriel chose the familiar surroundings of the Highgate safe house, though by the time Zoe arrived for her first session it no longer bore any resemblance to a private London club. Its walls were covered with maps, photographs, and diagrams, and its rooms were occupied by a large group of Israelis who seemed more like harried graduate students than accomplished intelligence operatives. They greeted the new arrival as though they had been expecting her for a long time, then crowded around the dining-room table for a quick takeaway curry. The warmth displayed by Gabriel's team was genuine, even if the names they hid behind were not. Zoe gravitated naturally toward the tweedy, Oxbridge-educated Yossi, though she was clearly intrigued by an attractive woman with long dark hair who referred to herself as Rachel.more...

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