Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

It is summer, and Europe’s art world is on its knees as many painting masterpieces have been disappearing from European museums big and small. The latest theft involves a Rembrandt painting titled Portrait of a Young Woman, which was in the private home-studio of an art restorer named Christopher Liddell, who has been killed attempting to protect it.

Julian Isherwood, an art dealer who has given Liddell the painting for restoration, is on the brink of losing a fortune--and the business he has tried so hard to build—if the painting remains missing. So he contacts Gabriel Allon, master Israeli spy and assassin, who also happens to be a brilliant art restorer to recover the Rembrandt. Gabriel has been living with his wife Chiara in Cornwall, England, in exile since they both decided to leave “the Office”.

As Gabriel and Chiara follow the trail left behind by the painting since its origin, they come across a Holocaust survivor in London, the only surviving child of a Nazi criminal and a leftist journalist willing to uncover an explosive story, both in Argentina, and a Swiss billionaire, owner of a fortune covered in blood, willing to go to any lengths to perpetuate his good name. As the story focuses on the billionaire, Gabriel realizes that he needs help from the inside if he is going to bring him down.

I really liked this book. I hardly noticed that I had read the first half of the book that quickly; it was building momentum. As the book approached its conclusion, the story seemed to slow down a bit, which I think was the natural result of introducing world affairs and Middle East politics into the equation. When I read the synopsis of the book I was curious, though I didn’t think the concoction would work well, but it did.

Behind every great fortune lies a great crime”, a phrase by Honoré de Balzac, summarizes this book.

I want to read more books by the same author.