This astute, entertaining literary thriller features Helena Marsh, an art authenticator hot on the trail of an extorted painting in Budapest, skirting the law to return it to its rightful heir. In the vein of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels comes this year's smart new thriller with literary chops When wealthy octogenarian Geza Marton hires art expert Helena Marsh to buy back his family's Titian painting, Helena flies to Budapest to close what she expects will be a reasonably simple sale. But nothing is ever simple in this beautiful, flawed city where corruption abounds. Helena discovers that there are multiple bidders for the painting, including some dangerous Slavs. Soon there are also dead bodies, and a complicated history that leads her to men Marton knew in Vorkuta, one of Stalin's notorious gulags. As she works to unravel the truth of the painting's ownership and dodges her tail, the dogged ex-detective Attila Feher, Helena is forced to call on all her considerable skills to stay alive and out of jail. Smart, fast-paced, and wildly entertaining, The Appraisal is a terrific thriller set against Budapest's corruption and lost promise.