The Analysis of the Book “Isabella’s Painting” by Ellen Butler
So, what would you do if you, while visiting the home of your boyfriend’s family, saw a glimpse of something that made you think that the boyfriend’s father is up to something shady, illegal, and possibly dangerous? Would you tell your boyfriend your concerns, or maybe discuss matters over with his father? Or maybe you could just mind your own business.
These are choices facing the main character of the book Isabella’s Painting by Ellen Butler. She, however, handles things a very different way. Karina Cardinal is an attorney, in her thirties, working as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. She is dating Patrick Dunne, who is the son of very successful, and very wealthy, Marty Dunne and his wife, Molly. It is during an overnight visit at their home that Karina catches the smallest glimpse of something that makes her suspect that something is going on that should be investigated. Unfortunately, she decides that she should be the one to do the investigating.
Without a word of this to anyone, including her boyfriend, Patrick, Karina starts investigating on her own what she believes she saw in his family’s home. Her investigation takes her back to an art heist that occurred back in 1990, in which five hundred million dollars’ worth of art was stolen from a museum in Boston. It is believed that the Boston mafia is involved in this heist. Now Karina believes Marty Dunne is in possession of one of these pieces of art. She must find out if this is truly the case, and how and why Marty is involved in this, all without telling Patrick. This forms the main plot of the story.
The secondary plot of the story involves the relationship between Karina and Patrick. She also begins exploring an interest in a former college friend of hers, FBI agent Michael Finnegan, whom she encounters frequently during her investigation. I started out really liking this book, but soon found myself being irritated by the actions of the main character, Karina. For instance, with just the slightest suspicion that something is going on, she finds it acceptable to perform a search of her host’s office while she is a guest in the man’s home. She seems to find it impossible to confide in her boyfriend that she has these worries about his father.
But she is capable of accusing Patrick of betraying her trust when she is offended by his actions in another matter.I feel that the character of Patrick was extremely unevenly developed. In the beginning of the story, he is a confident, sincere, and sophisticated man. Abruptly mid-story, he becomes an insecure, completely unreasonable, and, frankly, creepy person. While I agree that he was very wrong in his actions at times, I feel that Karina was not one to judge in matters of honesty and openness. Another thing that I didn’t care for about this book is that some of the scenes were written in such a way that they became almost slapstick.
This was especially the case in a scene in which Karina is fleeing a horde of reporters with her co-worker Latesha. While I enjoy a light-hearted mystery, this seemed a bit much. I also tired of Karina’s witty comebacks that never failed to appear, regardless of the amount of danger she was in at the moment. In her dealings with law enforcement, she came across as unprofessional and immature, especially considering her own experiences at a lobbyist. On a more positive note, I enjoyed the plot about the long-past art heist. I also thought that, for the most part the dialogue was well-written and flowed in a very natural way. The editing was much better than many books I have read recently, with only a few misspelled words and an unfortunate tendency to use the term “and I”, when it should have been “and me”. But overall, it was very readable. I give this mystery novel 2 stars out of 4 . I really wanted to like the book and I believe that many readers will enjoy it more than I did. They just need to have a higher tolerance for emotionally driven decision making and madcap antics than I have.
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So, what would you do if you, while visiting the home of your boyfriend’s family, saw a glimpse of something that made you think that the boyfriend’s father is up […]