Thursday, 26 January 2012

Book Review: Cardsharp by Paul Westmoreland

Today is my stop in the Lightning Book Promotions tour of the exciting adventure, 
Cardsharp:  A Vincent Ward Adventure by Paul Westmoreland.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Burning houses. Daring robbers. Motorway chases. Exploding boats. Flying daggers. Brutal policemen. Ruthless pirates. Beautiful women. Deadly bullets. Racing hearts. International Criminals. Narrow escapes. Tricks, stings and electrocutions. And a priceless painting by one of art’s world’s most notorious masters.

Welcome to the adventures of Vincent Ward, where getting through each day alive just isn’t enough.

My Thoughts:

Cardsharp is an exciting adventure book with a twist.  Vincent Ward works as a researcher at the National Museum in London and has a passion for fine art, especially paintings.  When he is given the opportunity to travel to Italy to bid on a diary supposedly written by one of his favourite artists, Caravaggio, he jumps on the chance.  This leads to a whole adventure full of mystery and intrigue as he is stalked by international criminals who will do anything, and I mean anything, to get the painting that Vincent is so intent on protecting.

Vincent is a likable character and his passion for art is contagious.  This leads to the twist in the story, it centres around a painting, called Cardsharps by Caravaggio.  In an among all of the non stop adventure and danger is Cardsharps, a painting of a young man being cheated at cards by two con men. Interesting enough, the whole novel is structured around this painting and what it means.

There is also the life of Caravaggio, which is followed in the novel as Vincent travels around Italy trying to save another painting, and also his life.  The author provides fun lessons in history and art restoration.  These seem natural in the book and are not forced.  It is very clear that Mr. Westmoreland knows his art and the history he presents rings true and is not condescending.

Make no mistake, this book is action packed and has its share of violence as Vincent goes from one bad situation to a worse one with very little break.  It will certainly keep the reader turning the pages to find out if an how Vincent gets himself out of his latest jam.  I think this book will appeal to middle school and even young adult kids who like their books fast paced.  They may not even realize that they are getting an art history lesson at the same time.

This is the first in the Vincent Ward series and I am certainly looking forward to the next one!!

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of Cardshar
p in exchange for my honest review, as part of the Lightning Book Promotions blog tour.

To find the author and the book:
Author Website


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