Read: March 29 - April 5
Format: Overdrive download equivalent 304 pages
Source: Public library
Subject: Nazi art confiscations, treasure hunters
Challenges: 11 in 11, 75 Book, SYLL, Endless Europe, Audio
Category: Honeymoon - foreign settings/thrillers
The Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg is a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Due to its singular beauty, it was sometimes dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
Before it was lost, the original Amber Room represented a joint effort of German and Russian craftsmen. Construction of the Amber Room began in 1701 to 1709 in Prussia. The room was designed by German baroque sculptor Andreas Schlüter and constructed by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram and remained at Charlottenburg Palace until 1716 when it was given by Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I to his then ally, Tsar Peter the Great of the Russian Empire. In Russia it was expanded and after several renovations, it covered more than 55 square meters and contained over six tons of amber. The Amber Room was looted during World War II by Nazi Germany and brought toKönigsberg. Knowledge of its whereabouts was lost in the chaos at the end of the war.
In 1979 efforts began to rebuild the Amber room at Tsarskoye Selo. In 2003, after decades of work by Russian craftsmen, the reconstructed Amber Room was inaugurated in the Catherine Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
In this book Rachel Cutler, an Atlanta judge, discovers after her father's death that he had been a treasure hunter after WWII. He had searched and possibly found, the Amber Room, a massive set of intricately carved panels crafted from the precious substance and looted by Nazis during WWII from Russia's Catherine Palace. Intrigued, Rachel decides to try to find herself. What she and her ex-husband find are danger and see deaths that they are unable to prevent.
Rachel and Paul find a secret club who's members collect great art and are willing to do anything to hold on to their treasures.
This book had a wonderful premise but left something to be desired. It was a bit too long and at times too violent. The fascinating details surrounding the Amber Room, however, did make it an interesting read.