Jonathan. Seizing Amber. Sourcebooks Landmark: Sourcebooks.
Oct 2001. c272p. ISBN 1-57071-712-5. $22.00. Fiction.
Isaiah Hawkins, chief of a U.S. intelligence agency, heads
a crew of colorful ex-agency types in an attempt to track
down the Amber Room, which consists of 129 amber mosaic panels
presumably stolen from the Soviets by the Germans during
World War II. What is at stake, as news of the Amber Room’s survival surfaces
in the post-Cold War world, is not only a treasure of immense value but the fate
of the upcoming Russian presidential elections. While the quest for the treasure
mounts, a blackmailer plies his craft, an art historian motivated by greed and
ambition ponders treason, and Kathryn Blair, a recovered agent-gone-bad, carries
out a romance with an Italian aristocrat, who in turn may be involved in murder
and who may know the whereabouts of the amber panels. Based on an actual treasure
and inspired by The Maltese Falcon, this is an assured debut. Lean and forceful,
with no false notes, it contains well-drawn characters, an intriguing plot, and
a satisfying denouement. Highly recommended for all public libraries.