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El Icono Sagrado
Neil Olson
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El Icono Sagrado

2.92  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  39 reviews

Matthew Spear, a young Greek-American curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, meets the lovely Ana Kessler, a sometime art dealer who has inherited an impressive collection from her mysterious grandfather. Matthew soon discovers that the jewel of the old man's cache is none other than the Holy Mother of Katarini -- a sacred icon long thought destroyed in a fire. But wh

Paperback, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Planeta
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2.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Apr 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not finish it.

As I wrote on Amazon-dot-com:

The dust jacket has the following commendation by Michael Gruber: "A remarkable thriller with a marvelously intricate plot, real characters, credible dialogue, and a terrific climax..."

Did Gruber even read this book?

As one who has enjoyed Gruber's thrillers, this approbation makes me say, "Huh?"
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just couldnt get into this book. Characters seem wooden
Jun 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Could not get interested in this one.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006-2010, spanning
Het verhaal vertelt over Matthew Spear, een jonge Amerikaan van Griekse komaf. Hij is curator bij het Metropolitan Kunst Museum. Hij ontmoet Ana Kessler, wie een imposante collectie erft van haar mysterieuze grootvader.
Tijdens het bekijken van de collectie komt hij het juweel tegen uit de erfenis. Een schilderij van de Heilige moeder van Katarini. Een icoon dat men dacht dat vernietigd was tijdens een brand in de tweede wereldoorlog. Spear herkent de waarde en wilt proberen het icoon te
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written but ultimately easily forgettable story. This was reinforced by the fact that I didn't realise that I had read it before until about 90% through the book.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine lent me this book and I was excited to read it as I always look for, and wish to enjoy, a story that deals with my heritage and culture.

Unfortunately, the Greek in me cringed throughout The Icon. There are too many errors in the Greek references, words and names. I found myself distracted by them, wondering why something was written a certain way, why the mistake was made. In this internet age it is very, very easy to find out how to say something properly in another language be
Will Byrnes
Nov 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was this the first of its kind, the icon from which all later icons sprang? Did it really contain a piece of Mary’s robe, stained with the blood of a dying Jesus? The tale is told in two time lines, first in 1944 when the young protagonists are Greek fighters seeking to survive under Nazi occupation, looking to sell the treasure of their village for guns with which to fight the communists with whom they would do battle for control of post war Greece. The second time line is contemporary, and is ...more
THE ICON (Amateur Sleuth-NYC/Greece-WWII/Cont) – G
Olson, Neil – 1st book
Harper Collins, 2005- Hardcover
Matthew Spear is of Greek heritage and a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Matthew is asked to view the art collection inherited by Ana Kessler, he is drawn to an con, the Holy Mother of Katarini. Matthew is planning to purchase it for the Museum, but is asked by his godfather to encourage Ana to sell the icon to the Greek Orthodox Church. But there's a history to the icon which places
Lake Oz Fic Chick
In the last days of World War II in Nazi-occupied Greece, the people of the village of Katarini are saddened when their painted icon of the Theotokos apparently perishes in a tragic fire. Sixty years later, though, the icon turns up in the Manhattan home of an elderly Swiss banker named Kessler. When Kessler dies, his granddaughter Ana inherits his art collection and decides she must sell the icon. In the process, she meets Matthew Spear, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who is also a ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everybody's been wanting this old painting of the virgin Mary since WWII, and now 60 years later it turns up again, and everybody wants it again. While The Icon is thought-provoking about themes like faith, obsession, and family, it's also written slightly dry and there's not much in the way of actual suspense or thrills until well past the 3/4 mark. Neil Olson never wrote another book after this one that I know of, which seems like a shame. It would have been interesting to see what he did with ...more
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, not so good. If you really like references to Greek culture and Orthodox art then this one is passable at best. The first 100-pages are a slog, the rest is the literary equivalent of a red wagon ride. You would think a more exciting story might be woven around an icon bearing the blood of Christ on the robe of Mary.
Olean Public Library
An Icon of the Holy Mother makes many who see it become obsessed with it. This story covers the disappearance of the icon from Greece during WWII. It gives some insight into the factions of Greece during the war. The story continues into the present time tracking the icon, and its disappearance. A thriller, good characterizations, and mild romance.
Oct 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystery involving an icon that is made of wood, looks like the Mother Mary and allegedly has healing powers over body and soul. This book is based from World War II events where the Icon was stolen from a chapel in Greece and people were killed, to present day, where the men who played a part in the disappearance, who are now very old, are still trying to acquire the Icon.
Carol Catinari
A fairly decent "stolen artwork" genre book...this time, a Greek Madonna painting. The story flashes back and forth between the present and the end of WWII...theft and burning of churches during the Nazis final days. All in all, a fairly typical story line with fairly typical characters. I gave it a 3 star rating, but I wouldn't call it a high three.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Byzantine icon of Mary supposedly has healing powers. The icon was stolen from a small church in Greece during WW2 by a Nazi officer. It surfaces forty years later and is fought over by collectors, stolen again, people murdered to take possession of the icon. A good adventure novel, well written, with a great ending -
Grace Servas
I tried to read this book when I was distracted by other things happening in my life. It's not the type of book that you can put down for a week and then try to get back into. I finally gave up on it.
Suzie Quint
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
The characters in this were engaging but it was the icon itself that I found most interesting. As a reader, I wanted to believe in its mystical properties, but the author lets the hints dangle through most of the book, giving the reader the opportunity to believe or not. An interesting read.
May 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
only God ... I mean Mary of Ekaterini... knows how hard it was to read that book. there was no hard words, but it's hard to understand the sentences, author uses style which is just not easy to read. plus, he's mixing events, he's just complicating things. which is not helping.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A grim, dark, foreboding tale written in a very tedious style. Pretty good story about the pursuit of an elusive painting of Mary The Mother from 1944 to present. In the beginning the task of reading this book seemed so daunting that I didn't think that I would finish it.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in Greek Orthodoxy and the war in Greece during the 1940's
An OK story of an art curators interaction with his Greek relatives and their involvement in the theft of an ancient religious icon presumably stolen during world war II. The tale of what really happened so many years ago is gradually revealed.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have never started and quit a book as many times as this one. For some reason, I think the concept would interest me, however, I get about 4 chapters in and quit.

SOMEONE GIVE ME A REASON TO FINISH THIS BOOK before the church yard sale in October!!!
Clarice Anne Talaboc
This is one hell of a boring book, I swear.
Dec 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Skip it.
Lou Williamson
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book, with a very good story. it is just not a 4 star book. Some of the parts were very slow.
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like a book that I don't figure out the ending early on and this fit my criteria. Hope Neil continues to write.
Mehmet Ali
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Umut Gökbayrak
Ortalama kalibrede bir tarihi aksiyon kitabı. Okumasanız çok büyük bir eksiklik olmaz.
Nancy Chaddick
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book; made for an exciting read.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
good popcorn. interesting history re icons, Greece, war years and current politics sans mention of current economic meltdown.
Joseabrantes Abrantes
I loved this book - great story
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Neil Olson, the grandson of Greek immigrants, works in the publishing industry and lives in New York City with his wife.
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