Book Review: The Pearl Thief

The latest novel from prolific Adelaide-based author Fiona McIntosh explores wartime tragedy and its aftermath.  

From backstage at the British Museum to the Tuilerie Gardens, from the horrors of life in the Nazi ‘Protectorate’ of Czechoslovakia in 1941, to the bleakly peaceful North Yorkshire Moors in 1963. McIntosh paints this large canvas convincingly, sometimes horrifyingly, sometimes very movingly.

Finding her mother’s priceless medieval pearl necklace on loan to the British Museum, her Czech refugee heroine Katarina believes that tracking down the lender will enable her to track down the brute who slaughtered her parents and siblings in 1941.

It will occur to the reader, although oddly it does not occur to vengeful Katarina, that he will now know who she is whereas she does not know who he is.

Fortunately, Daniel, a kindly stranger in a public park proves to be from Mossad. As in the novels of Dickens the characters are more, well, Dickensian, than the overall plot is totally convincing, while the finale occurs during a shamelessly Dickensian Christmas party! However, pick it up and you won’t put it down.

Author: Fiona McIntosh

The Pearl Thief by Fiona McIntosh (Penguin)

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