In Florence, the local Mafia boss, more accustomed to gunrunning and trading in plutonium, is involved in organizing a silent auction for the sale of one of the world's most valuable lost paintings - a sixteenth-century masterpiece, which was appropriated in World War II by Stalin's Trophy Brigade. A British art expert is set to buy the picture on behalf of his client, a South American billionaire - yet surprisingly two Italian undercover intelligence agents, acting as antique dealers, submit the winning bid.
All the while, human beings continue to harm the Earth by destroying land, sea, air, animals and trees. Global climate change, polluting the atmosphere, depleting the ozone layer: these are some of man's crimes against Nature. But time is running out. Nature has lost patience with humans. Unless something is done immediately to reverse the destruction of the ecosystem, Nature will retaliate by deploying the terrifying forces at her command. And as a first step in wreaking her revenge, she instigates a reign of terror by the deadliest creature on Earth.
One story is that of the Italian mafia trying to sell not only arms, but what could be an original work of art by a master. The process to authenticate and bid on it consumes one story line. The second is a sci fi themed story of mosquitoes of many types banding together in devastating attacks that leave many dead. We follow a female expert as she researches and tries to find solutions other than mass extermination. The only connection to both stories is this women as she knows most of the men involved. As a sideline we are introduced to the woman's demanding sex drive which may sell books, but doesn't add to either story.
Another area that could use work is the romantic dialogue. It doesn't sound natural. And the book is wrapped up without us clearly seeing how and why the researcher came to her conclusion on how to deal with the mosquito problem. Instead we are given a speech by her sharing thoughts to wrap every up in a tidy package. No proof is offered, it's just her ideas.
For the most part the author's storytelling is strong, he just tries to do too much in one book and could use some fine tuning in several areas. As Tim Gunn would say, "Edit, edit, edit." With some hard work, the core of this book could become a strong story.
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