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Publisher's Summary

It takes a real artist to solve a crime this big - in a brilliant, engrossing mystery by Edgar Award winner Aaron Elkins....

Art curator Val Caruso is not a happy camper. His promotion has just been nixed, his divorce has become final, and he’s dug himself into a nice little rut for his fortieth birthday. The uplift? A trip to Milan to help Holocaust survivor Sol Bezzecca recover a pair of cherished sketches by Renoir. They’d once been given to Sol’s family by the then-unknown artist, looted by the Italian Fascist militia, and now after decades in hiding have turned up for auction. It’s Val’s job to get them back.

Unfortunately, his Italian adventure takes a dangerous turn when he becomes trapped in an intricate web that reaches back to World War II - and is still very sticky with art thieves, forgers, and somebody who wants Val out of the picture permanently. When the lost Renoirs are stolen yet again, Val is more determined than ever to hunt them down. The reward for reuniting an old man with his rightful past? Priceless.

But doing it is going to be murder.

©2018 Aaron Elkins (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What listeners say about A Long Time Coming

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good art and history lesson...

...but a very weak mystery. It was so predictable that I actually knew who did it and why the minute the first crime was committed.

The good:
There is a lot of interesting bits about art, art history and Italian history.
The scene setting was well done for the most part.

The bad:
The mystery is really not good. It is slow and completely and utterly predictable
The side/supporting characters were not well drawn.

The meh:
The main character was not very engaging.
The narration seemed very slow to me.

I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them. Unfortunately, this one just fell very short.
I got it free from Amazon Unlimited, so at least I didn't waste a credit on it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Memories

A Long Time Coming is a terrific story about the art world. Not the sort of art a middle class patron could afford. The really wonderful art of the masters. You may be surprised at what goes on in the high dollar art world. Aaron Elkins does a fantastic job of weaving the tale of the bad actors in the art world with a lonely old man whose memories of his childhood and one painting are worth more than all the money in the world.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A suspenseful, wonderful trip into the art world.

To be fair, I love anything read by David Colacci. He does a fabulous job of keeping all of the characters very distinct and real. That said, I really enjoyed the suspense of the mystery. Someone out there probably figured it out in three seconds, but I did not. I had hunches, but they were quickly tossed out. An well written and thought out. An interesting and lovely read.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great story

this is a good book, i hope Elkins turns this into a seies and uses David Colacci as narrator, he is one of my favorite narrators. very well done.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Where's Charlotte?

I previously read "Nasty Breaks" (golf mystery) by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins -- loved it! -- and "A Dangerous Talent" by the pair -- good! This one felt like a letdown. Val, the narrator is a man -- a calm, reasonable man. Reminds me a little of the tone of the narrator in Michael Crichton's "Prey." He's charming, educated, erudite, and a bit dull. Val just missed becoming a curator at the Met. He's divorced, and another birthday (40) isn't cheering. Then lawyer Esther, whom he's helped before, ropes him into an impossible task. What she lost in court she hopes he can recover through persuasion. The client, Sol, an old man, is a Holocaust survivor. When he was a boy, he and his grandfather, with whom he lived, were dragged off by the Gestapo, who seized two works of art - a cafe scene painting and a sketch (of the grandfather) -- both by Renoir. The grandfather and boy are tortured; the Grandfather dies, and the boy is shipped to a camp. He survives the war and now is himself very elderly. The two works of art recently came to light, but the Italian courts ruled against returning them. Esther wants Val to talk the current owners into loaning the sketch to Sol until his death, which likely is not many years off. Val is taken by Sol's story. He has friction (and attraction) with Sol's granddaughter, who is studying law and mistakenly thinks Val is out to fleece her grandfather.

Val goes to Italy. The lucky fellow who FOUND the Renoirs is an old friend who allegedly bought the two pictures at a flea market -- just for their frames -- then discovered the treasures beneath the seascapes on top. But the decision is not his friend's alone. To cover legal fees, the friend gave a big share of the artworks to the man who paid the lawyers. More characters must also be convinced -- the lady running the auction and possibly the eccentric who is restoring the paintings.

Then all hell breaks loose. The friend disappears. Val is attacked. The artwork is stolen. And although Val is friends with the police detective on the cases, he investigates on his own.

That's where he stops being a reasonable man. He essentially breaks into an apartment whose security code he knows and finds the paintings and spends an inordinate amount of time hanging around there. DUH!

The book was OK. I didn't like the main character at first, was drawn in by the Holocaust story and quest for some justice, but it lapsed and I got a bit bored in Italy. This book just lacked the pizzazz of the others I'd read....

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fun satisfying guessing game

This is an enjoyable read. If you like art history, you will like it. If you like Italy, you will like it. Elkins gives you just enough historical fiction without dwelling on too much detail. The storyline is good, but it is the involved "con" that makes it fun. You will possibly guess who is guilty, but watching them carry it off is worth the read. David Colacci is outstanding. This is well worth the time and minimal cost . Believe me and enjoy this one!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story

Well-written story with sooo much HEART. Intriguing mystery, EXCellent appealing “good guys,” and thoroughly foul “bad guys,” who happily do not prevail. Lots of interesting art history and Milan, Italy ambiance.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A charming and informative mystery.

Great story, wonderful characters and a great performance. This is my first book by the author and it will not be the last.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The narration does not fit the story

The story is not too bad. It entails the world of art dealership in Italy, museums and art restoration. I read about 6 chapters and then shifted to the audio book.
The narrator turned it into a film-noire type of plot- which to my opinion does not fit the storyline and and the main character. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I continued to read the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Spot on narration of an exciting and perfectly plotted book


Well worth a second reading to experience again its trove of information and characters. Travel, art, and mystery wrapped in a first person narrative that is perfect.