One-Minute Book Reviews

April 29, 2009

Second Thoughts on R. A. Scotti’s ‘Vanished Smile’

Filed under: Nonfiction — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:19 am
Tags: , , , , ,

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how much I was enjoying R. A. Scotti’s Vanished Smile, a new historical true crime book about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa. At the end of her tale, Scotti revealed that an early scene had been based on newspaper article that might have been entirely false, so questionable was the reporter’s credibility. This technique is very different from the one normally favored by true-crime writers — withholding some facts — and undermines the book. It’s one thing to dole out clues carefully and it’s another to insert material that may be fiction. The belated revelation that this had occurred cast much of the earlier material in the book in a new light that flattered neither Scotti nor Vanished Smile.

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