Once Chase Malone waged war. Now he creates beauty, living as a reclusive painter in Mexico. Until a rich man hires Chase to do his wife's portrait. And Chase finds out what beauty is really all about...
Derek Bellasar is an international arms merchant who lives in a fortresslike mansion on the Riviera. Sienna is his wife and the woman whose incredible beauty Chase Malone must somehow capture on canvas. There's only one problem: Every time Bellasar has one of his wives painted, she dies. BURNED
Suddenly, Chase is fighting a one-man battle against Bellasar and a private army of highly trained killers. At stake is Sienna's life-and more. Because the CIA has been using Chase to keep a blockbuster biological arms deal from going down. And with a man's evil threatening to devastate the world, Chase Malone must save a woman, save his life, and practice the art of war...BURNT SIENNA
Like his last novel, Double Image, Morrell's robust latest dips into gothic territory as an obsession with beauty leads to lethal extremes. The new novel, however, incorporates more of the uber-thriller elements for which Morrell is known, depicting one decent man's fight against a black-market arms dealer equipped with unlimited funds, political access and a private army. Ex-marine hero Chase Malone has made it big in the art world as a painter, so arms dealer Derek Bellasar asks him to paint a portrait of Bellasar's wife. Malone won't do commission work but Bellasar won't take no for an answer. Soon Malone finds his life in turmoil: his land in Mexico has been sold, his house is scheduled for bulldozing, his favorite restaurant closes and his New York gallery has been bought--by Bellasar. Malone's old Marine buddy, now in the CIA, is after Bellasar for myriad international crimes and begs Malone to spy on the arms dealer. Jeb adds that Bellasar has had three beautiful wives, each of whom died right after having their portrait painted. Malone agrees and is flown to an extravagant mansion and arms-testing range in Nice, where he falls in love with Bellasar's wife, Sienna. The feeling is mutual and the pair plan their escape when Sienna discovers the portraits of previous wives and an even more terrifying secret. Morrell delivers hairpin plot-curves as the lovers make their way to a CIA safe house, only to have Sienna recaptured and Malone left for dead. The mayhem concludes in a pyrotechnic ending with a twist that Morrell's fans will love in spite of the accompanying romantic schmaltz. Foreign agent, Danny Baror. Film rights to Irish Dreamtime Productions; author tour. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Grand Central Publishing
May 01, 2001
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