On the evening before two planes crashed into the Twin Towers, thousands of miles away a member of England's aristocracy makes a decision to sacrifice an original Van Gogh in order to save the family estate. Victoria Wentworth sat writing a note of explanation to her twin sister when someone stealthily entered her chambers and skillfully cut her throat before removing one of her ears. Meanwhile, in the North Tower, Bryce Fenston, the banker who would benefit most from her demise, calmly awaits word of her death so that he can move to foreclose on the property and its contents.
FALSE IMPRESSION is not only a thrilling tale of greed and deception, but Jeffrey Archer has expertly paced it to reveal the character of his protagonists and the mood of three continents. To further authenticate his settings, Archer includes many historical details about Bucharest, Tokyo, Vincent Van Gogh and the world of Impressionist art --- interesting stuff even to the occasional art lover.
Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, Dr. Anna Petrescu, an expert art appraiser, is in her office on the 83rd floor of the North Tower. She is planning to expose her employer, Bryce Fenston, to Victoria Wentworth regarding his plans to strip her of her family estate. Of course, Anna is not aware that Victoria has already been murdered. She plans to tell the Wentworth heiress that, if she sells the Van Gogh to a very interested Japanese steel tycoon, she will receive more than enough to pay off her loan and ensure that the family estate and its other great works of art will not be lost.
Also working in the office is Tina Forster, administrative assistant to Fenston, who is Anna's friend and ally and who also has a strong desire to bring down Fenston. Watching the activities at Fenston Finance is Jack Delaney, an FBI agent who has been gathering evidence against its chairman.
From the breathtaking moment that the first plane hits the North Tower, through the details of Anna's escape from the holocaust and her subsequent attempts to save the Van Gogh, there is non-stop action and excitement within the pages of this novel. Archer offers many opportunities for the reader to guess what is a "false impression" and what isn't, but the thrilling resolution will have you holding your breath and finally breathing a sigh of relief as it is revealed.