An exciting new novel, by the author of The Story of My Disappearance and Archangel.
At the turn of World War II, David Halifax is a young American painter who receives a scholarship to come to Paris and work under the tutelage of the mysterious and brilliant Russian painter, Alexander Pankratov. Getting more than he bargained for, Halifax is quickly subjected to Pankratov's rigid will, and beguiled by the quiet, nude model who poses before them.
But Paris is also a city that is holding its breath. The Nazi forces are slowly penetrating the Maginot Line, and the once-indominitable city is now expecting the worst. Beneath Paris' blanket of fear and eerie calm, David Halifax relizes the true purpose of his visit: Pankratov is to train him in duplicating the masterworks of the Paris museums, and with the aid of a wily art dealer, barter the fakes to Hilter's legion of art dealers. What developes is cat and mouse game through Paris' silent streets, in the tunnels beneath its museums, and eventually into the scorched countryside of Normandy.
In David and Pankratov's frantic race to complete the uncompletable, both are forced to confront the terrible sacrifices one must finally make for art; a sacrifice of identity, and perhaps of the soul.