The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

In a dizzying world of glamour, danger and mystery, The Curse of Van Gogh is the story of a man drawn cover49453-smallinto an underground crime world he thought he’d left behind forever. Readers who loved the action and adventure of The Thomas Crown Affair and Ocean’s 11 films, as well as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, will be thrilled by this stunning novel, which is released on the 124th anniversary of van Gogh’s death.

Tyler Sears, art thief, just released from a federal prison, vows never again. He slides into a simple life bartending in New York City until one day an invitation arrives to the hottest art event of the season, where Tyler meets Komate Imasu, famed art collector. Suddenly Tyler’s vows of abstinence slip away as Imasu uses threats against Tyler’s family. Tyler decides to gamble and ups the ante to a breathtaking level.

Tyler quickly learns that gambling against a ruthless billionaire is never a good idea. Forgetting his own safety, Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit men, Yakuza, a femme fatale named Chanel No. 5, and the hideous curse of van Gogh, in order to pull off… the greatest art heist in history.

When you compare your novel to The Thomas Crown Affair, the Ocean’s films, and The Da Vinci Code, you’ve set the bar pretty high, in my opinion.  Unfortunately, this book didn’t come close for me.

The synopsis of this book sounded very intense and full of action – art forgers, hit men, thieves – there’s no way I couldn’t read this book.  Besides, The Thomas Crown Affair is a personal favorite.  I liked Tyler Sears, newly released from prison with a legal job, trying to make a fresh start.  The relationship he had with his brother also added a different dimension to Tyler’s character.  His mother wasn’t mentioned as often, so I didn’t really feel the connection between them.  I also appreciated that Tyler’s love interest was included in the plot and wasn’t the type of woman who needed rescuing throughout the story.

When Tyler discovered his family was in danger, I was sure that was when the real action would start, but he didn’t feel the sense of urgency I’d expected, seeming more concerned with women, jogging, and what he’d eat for dinner.  An excessive amount of description in some areas distracted me from the real story, and I found myself skimming through those sections.

While the last part of the book was full of action sequences and the ending satisfying, this book just wasn’t for me.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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