Book Review: The Black Madonna

17 Sep

Antiques expert Storm Syrrell heads to Europe to investigate the clandestine trade in religious artifacts. She dismisses superstitious tales of miraculous healings and divine omens. Yet when an obsessive Russian oligarch calls—just as her friend Harry Bennett vanishes—all assumptions must be cast aside. Storm seeks answers in a medieval monastery. There, the scarred visage of an icon provokes ever more startling questions. Is she prepared to confront both earthly and spiritual powers? Storm remains haunted by lessons in love and betrayal that lie just outside her grasp. But hesitation now holds mortal consequences.

Davis Bunn is the author of numerous national bestsellers in genres spanning historical sagas, contemporary thrillers, and inspirational gift books. He has received widespread critical acclaim, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and his books have sold more than six million copies in sixteen languages. He and his wife, Isabella, are affiliated with Oxford University, where Davis serves as writer in residence at Regent’s Park College. He lectures internationally on the craft of writing.

Author Interview

Author Q&A

My Impressions:

Following the Bernie Madoff scandal and family problems, Storm Syrrell’s art brokering business is failing.  No one is buying art and she is desperately in need of a cash infusion.  Enter a mystery manrepresenting a buyer with unlimited funds seeking to hire Storm.  She takes the bait and is off on an international adventure that reaches from the war-torn streets of the West Bank to the upper echelons of British society.  The Black Madonna, Davis Bunn’s second Storm Syrrell novel, is a fast-paced novel filled with enough near-fatal attacks, undercover agents and exotic locales to please the suspense-seeking reader.  It is an enjoyable enough read, that you can overlook the slightly over-the-top descriptions of rooms and views and the thin character development.

The Black Madonna is indeed plot-driven.  The characters seem a bit superficial and the love story somewhat contrived.  But I found the action and intrigue compelling.  There are also enough loose ends at the end of the story to leave the reader ready for the next installment.

I did not read the first in the series, The Gold of Kings (both books feature Storm Syrrell and company, but are stand-alones), but it is sitting in my to-be-read pile.  And following this read, I’d say it has moved closer to the top.


(Thank you to Glass Road PR and Howard Publishing for a copy of this book for review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

One Response to “Book Review: The Black Madonna”


  1. Reviewers Call ‘The Black Madonna’ a ‘Masterful, Brilliant Thriller’ « Davis Bunn - September 20, 2010

    […] RBClibrary writes: […]

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