The Girl Who Knew DaVinci
In the spirit of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and the Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro, blended with an unforgettable romance . . . The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami unravels a compelling mystery with an emotional love story.
Three destinies, three timeless loves, one remarkable painting.
Will her visions lead her to the truth?
Art historian Angela Renatus is haunted by dreams of Leonardo da Vinci and a mysterious painting of Giuliano Medici and his mistress Fioretta Gorini. A painting that, as far as the world knows, doesn’t exist. Compelled by her visions, Angela is determined to find out the truth.
When Angela is contacted by art detective Alex Caine, she’s shocked to learn that he too is seeking the same painting. Alex’s client, a wealthy German financier, is determined to clear the name of his late uncle, Gerhard Jaeger, an art historian, who went missing in Florence, during World War II. In letters written before his disappearance, the historian describes his love affair with a beautiful young Italian woman named Sophia Caro and the discovery of an extraordinary painting by the great master himself-a painting depicting Giuliano and Fioretta.
Angela and Alex journey to Florence in search of the priceless treasure. Is it a lost da Vinci, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or a wild goose-chase that will only lead to a dead end? But someone else is searching for the elusive painting-Alberto Scordato is a powerful man in the art world and a sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even murder. Scordato knows something about Angela that even she doesn’t know, something that could threaten both Angela and Alex’s lives, forcing them into the crosshairs of fate.
Uncaged Review: This is one of those books you want to keep reading and don’t want it to end. It has multiple subplots, engaging main characters, a bad guy you can’t help but hate and a love story which spans centuries. No, no, this isn’t a huge tome, but it does take you from the 1400s to 2018.
Angela Renatus see visions of people from the past. When the story opens it is 1944 and you see a Sophia Caro and Gerhard Jaeger at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Gerhard is a German who is an art historian and Sofia works at the gallery. They have a painting they believe is a da Vinci attributed to one of his students. They leave through the Medici secret passageway to the church to escape the fall of Florence as the Germans retreat. Gerhard takes on the name of Giorgio Bandini, an accountant from Piza.
The story jumps to 2018 Getty Museum. Angela is having a problem with her boss Angelo Scordato, the museum director, who is a lecher and is threatening her job as an art historian intern if she doesn’t do what he wants sexually. Angela can’t stand the man, let along having him touching her. She also believe she only dreams about the da Vinci and Fioretta Grini, Guiliano Medici, da Vinci and Lorenzo Medici, Sophia and Gerhard.
Enter Alexander (Alex) Caine who is a detective who hunts for lost or stolen works of art. He had been hired to find the missing Leonardo da Vinci painting of a wedding. This is where things get very interesting. Alex is unusual in that he has two different colored eyes. Angela looks like Fioretta and Sophia. Meanwhile Scordato believes Angela will lead him to the missing painting he was hired to find over a year ago but never found, only he wants the painting for himself.
As this story bounces back and forth from the present to the past, the history of the painting is revealed along with the growing love of Angel and Alex.
When I started this book, my first thought, was oh no, another time travel, but not even close. Angela has visions from the past where she becomes part of what happened and leads her to help put the ghosts to rest by finding what they are leading her to with the help of Alex. The past and the present merge at various points of the story.
Alex and Angela go from California to Florence, Rome and Paris and Montefioralle in Chianti. Along the way you learn a lot of history of the Medici period and the 1944 invasion of Florence. It was one of the most fascinating romps through history all tied up in a missing painting, engaging characters and a lot of mystery and intrigue. This is a book not to be missed. If I could give it more than five stars I would. Reviewed by Barbara.