The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn

I adore Davis Bunn. His versatility in subject matter, his way with word pictures, his grasp of what makes suspense and avoidance of that which I like to skip in other, less professionally written novels all add up to some very excellent reads.

Black Madonna is another smash. Although, I really do not like it when men try to get into women's thoughts, Bunn does okay with it. He focuses more on the story than on angst which makes the story so much more interesting. Bunn also learned some great things from Janet Oke when he collaborated with her which makes these later novels by him so much better. (I'm quite sure she's learned a lot from him, too. It is a good author match.)

The suspense will have you reading far into the night. The surprises will chill your spine, and there is enough humor to break the tension just enough your muscles don't get sore.

The only thing that could make it better is the sub-story between Storm's two friends is not developed well. Bunn pulls the reader from the delicious suspense to agonize over a love story with few particulars so it just isn't satisfying. The other thing is Storm's attraction to the man she loves to hate in the beginning. That is truly formulaic and I am just a bit disappointed with T. Davis Bunn over that. However, it does not detract from the story line at all.

This one gets 5 of 5 stars. Worth the money and it's a keeper.

Following the internationally acclaimed Gold of Kings, Storm Syrrell returns in the compelling story of The Black Madonna.

Antiques expert Storm Syrrell heads to Europe to investigate the clandestine trade in religious artifacts. She dismisses superstitious tales of miraculous healings and divine omens. Yet when an obsessive Russian oligarch calls—just as her friend Harry Bennett vanishes—all assumptions must be cast aside. Storm seeks answers in a medieval monastery. There, the scarred visage of an icon provokes ever more startling questions. Is she prepared to confront both earthly and spiritual powers? Storm remains haunted by lessons in love and betrayal that lie just outside her grasp. But hesitation now holds mortal consequences.

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