The Black Madonna by Davis Bunn – My Review

Touchstone (September 7, 2010)
In Gold of Kings, Bunn introduced readers to Storm and her friends amidst the chaos of a family who lost the man that kept the family business running smoothly and held the fraying threads of relationships stable. Shadowed by her grandfather’s reputation among the rich and fickle who can afford to satisfy any whim, Storm must try to shore up the remainder of her family and the faltering gallery of rare and esoteric curiousities he managed. Davis inscribed his notable mark on the world of Christian fiction well before Storm and her family’s Gallery ever approached the horizon of literary existence. In the Black Madonna fans of Bunn’s action packed novels are treated to yet another harrowing adventure that spans the globe. Storm and her closest friends find themselves yanked into an international treasure hunt designed to bait her with the promise of funds to more than reestablish the liquidity of the family corporation. As an agent for those with money to blow on objects of unproven authenticity merely because of mythical powers the items are assumed to possess, Storm is leery of a “phantom” client who drops multiple millions on the table simply to “conquer” an opponent. The “battle” is more figurative than literal as this “phantom’s” opponent has one ultimate goal, he cannot release his own dreams of power and position which keeps him from letting go of his only child who has succumbed to an illness that even modern science cannot comprehend. Storm’s path and that of her friends end up intersecting because these two irrational men desire an item that any intelligent person recognizes as an impossibility. Harry’s search for an artist whose forgeries could be exact replicas of relics that either never existed or at best held value only because of materials or appearance triggers an avalanche of mayhem and “mishaps” that span much of Europe as well as Israel. Just as the Israeli Arab conflict spans generations and locales so the Eastern European and Soviet tensions that these “mystery investors” fan into flames cross their own lines. The danger that stalks Storm because of connections her client’s client has to political and cultural divisions coloring the disappearance of “religious” artifacts which can be traced back to the man he wants to subjugate draw Harry and Emma into it’s depths from thousands of miles away. Well before the relation between Harry’s assignment and Storm’s most recent commissions come to light – kidnappings, shootings, and abductions begin a landslide of incidents that snowball upon each other to an unexpected and pivotal twist which drops each piece of this puzzle into its proper place in time for a most revealing conclusion. Once again Bunn’s skilled writing stretches tensions just until the snapping point before releasing the next obscure clue. Readers become so engrossed in the plot itself that the foreshadowing and hints are nearly invisible until the final moments of resolution clearly highlight the answer and the steps leading there. (ISBN#9781416556336, 336pp, $14.99)

Click the bookcover for more info or to purchase a copy. Visit Bunn’s website. In November stay tuned for the FIRST WildCard Tour of this book featuring an excerpt and more book blogger reactions to this novel. Thanks to Glassroad PR for a review copy.

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