Elizabeth Lowrys Thomas Joseph Lynch can hold his own among the best fictional characters. Do we like him? Do we hate him? Is he a trustworthy narrator, a lying blackguard or simply addled? Can we admire his perseverance and determination, or is he so compulsively obsessed that we want to write him off as a crackpot?
Thats just the thing. At the beginning of any novel we all want to like our protagonist. He is, after all, the prism through which we will see the world for the next three hundred-plus pages. And without a doubt, we like Lynch from the get-go. He's smart, well-educated and has a sense of humor. But then he betrays such a cavalier attitude toward the young student with whom he had planned to share a bottle and a quickie that we begin to doubt his integrity. Furthermore, when his flagrant dalliances cost him his job as an art history professor at a...
Beyond the Book
Lost and Stolen Treasures
According to British journalist and art critic Jonathan Jones, "The most amazing thing is not how many masterpieces go missing or get destroyed but that something so fragile as art survives for any length of time at all."
Yet the lead character of The Bellini Madonna
, Thomas Joseph Lynch, is counting on the fact that the mysterious work of art he so fanatically desires still exists several hundred years after it was painted. A rather high hope, especially when the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation says art theft constitutes as much as an $8 billion per annum industry and the Bureau has even assembled a thirteen-member crack team to staff their highly specialized Art Theft Program. What's more, there are reported to...