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A Twist Of Hate

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When his family’s priceless Cézanne disappears from a local museum, security consultant Del Miller leaves the investigation to the FBI. But that’s before an art dealer alleges that Del’s grandfather, a victim of the Nazi death camps, stole the masterpiece from a Paris gallery seventy years before. After the dealer is found dead, and Del's father is implicated, Del sets out to uncover the truth.

From present-day San Francisco to war-torn France, to the Nazi death camps and betrayal, A TWIST OF HATE is a story of family honor. One man's quest for answers about the grandfather he never knew, the father he idolizes, and the secrets behind a missing painting that lay buried deep within his family's past.

339 pages, Hardcover

First published June 17, 2015

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About the author

V.R. Barkowski

7 books28 followers
VR Barkowski is a native Californian who pens dark fiction from Boston's North Shore. A graduate of UC Berkeley and recovering sociologist, she is a voracious reader, an avid if not intrepid traveller, a lover of animals, music, museums, glass, pottery, graveyards, and water—not necessarily in that order.

Her debut novel,  A TWIST OF HATE, was published in June 2015 by Gale-Cengage Learning/Five Star.

BLOG: http://vrbarkowski.wordpress.com

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5 stars
8 (47%)
4 stars
6 (35%)
3 stars
2 (11%)
2 stars
1 (5%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Susan Swiderski.
Author 3 books37 followers
February 23, 2015
This may be Barkowski's first published novel, but her writing exhibits an assured maturity and skill rarely seen in a debut book. Sincere thanks to the author for sending me an advanced reading copy. The rest of you? Be prepared to grab a copy when it's released in June. You won't be sorry.

From its clever title to the ambitious tale rooted in the horrors and heroics of Nazi-occupied France, and blossoming in modern-day America, the author does a beautiful job demonstrating how the events of history can continue to create ripples in today's world. At the core of the story is a priceless Cezanne painting: when Samuel was an infant, his father, a member of the French Resistance, smuggled him... and that painting... to the safety of America. All these years later, the painting is a poignant connection to the loving father who sacrificed everything to save his son and other Jewish children, and is a treasured family legacy worth far more than the multi-million dollar price tag the art world would place on it.

And now the painting is gone. It's been replaced by a copy while on loan to the art museum, and FBI investigators think Samuel and his wife are somehow involved. With the help of some friends, their son, a former police inspector, does some investigating of his own, and uncovers some painful truths.

This is a fast-moving story of accusations, betrayal, forgiveness, and murder. It also explores the bonds of family and friendship, and even has a modicum of romance. But at its heart, it is the story of two very different legacies: one poignant and priceless, and the other, a tainted distortion, fueled by the lingering ripples of bitterness and hatred dating all the way back to the days of Nazi occupation.

I'd give this book a very enthusiastic four and a half stars, rounded up to five.
Profile Image for Mason.
Author 2 books23 followers
July 31, 2015
The past comes flying back to the present bringing secrets, sadness, memories and betrayal in V.R. Barkowski’s captivating debut novel, A TWIST OF HATE.

Former homicide inspector turned security consultant Del Miller is surprised that his parents loaned the local museum their painting of the Cézanne. When it turns up missing his mother, who works at the museum, asks for his help in finding the painting. Del refuses insisting the FBI be called in as the painting, smuggled out of Nazi occupied France with Del’s then-infant father, holds great sentimental value, but is also priceless.

Before the investigation into the missing painting begins, the museum director is found dead under unusual circumstances. While the director confesses to the theft in a note, the painting remains missing and Del’s father becomes a suspect in the suspicious death.

Things continue to get complicated when an allegation is made that Del’s grandfather stole the painting from a Paris gallery during the war. The tension builds when the grandson of the long-deceased gallery owner comes forward to claim the missing painting and is later found dead.

Faced with a missing family heirloom, a father suspected of murder and new revelations about his family, Del is determined to find the painting and set things right. Meanwhile, Del is also dealing with personal issues as he tries to take his relationship with his best friend’s ex-wife to the next level.

The author blends the past with the present fluently giving readers glimpses of what the people in France endured during the war. Her eye for detail and rich descriptions places the reader alongside those fleeing for their lives during the war, as well as those living in present day San Francisco.

The story is gripping and moves at a steady pace. The suspense holds you spellbound as the events and secrets unfold. The emotions of hardship, betrayal, love and friendship come through in waves.

The secondary story of Del, his best friend and his best friend’s ex-wife ties in nicely. Though bits of a tragedy involving the three is a tad vague, it doesn’t take away from the story. In fact, the trio’s bond adds depth to the story.

A TWIST OF HATE will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The author grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The story doesn’t leave you when you close the book the final time as the characters become ones you want to know more about.

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
Profile Image for Kelley.
637 reviews116 followers
September 6, 2015
ARC received courtesy of Goodreads.com giveaway

I loved this book. The story spanned from WWII France to present day San Francisco. The author did a beautiful job linking the past to the present without losing the reader. I believe that this is at least the second novel in a series because there is a backstory that I didn't have. However, I enjoyed the novel without reading whatever came first. This author is new to me, but I will be on the lookout for much more to come from her. I'm excited to see what comes next for characters that I'm now very vested in!
Profile Image for Hart Johnson.
Author 26 books47 followers
June 13, 2015
This was a fantastic debut. I counted five separate mysteries, beautifully twined together. This story is set in current day, among the elite art community in the San Francisco area, but ties in an escape from Nazi occupied France and the newly contested ownership and theft of an important painting. The characters were compelling, slightly flawed or damaged, their interactions sometimes tense, and the plotting was masterful. I definitely recommend this.

Note: I received an ARC of this book to prepare for a blog interview with the author.
Profile Image for Star.
1,288 reviews63 followers
July 31, 2015
A TWIST OF HATE is a beautiful written story which shows how important history is and how much of an impact it can still have in the modern day. Del Miller’s father was smuggled out of Nazi occupied France and into safety in the United States. The only things Samuel Miller has left of his father are some letters and a priceless Cézanne painting, currently on display at a local museum. Now the painting is missing and bodies are falling in the wake of the disappearance. A TWIST OF HATE shows how one man’s bitterness and hatred can destroy several generations of a family. The characters are well-developed and the way the author evoked the emotions of tragic historical events was astounding. People who enjoy art, mystery, and history will definitely enjoy A TWIST OF HATE.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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