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 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. (From ECW Press)