On the shelf: ‘The Swan Thieves’ by Elizabeth Kostova

By Talulah Sievers, WKTV Citizen Reporter


When artist Robert Oliver brutally attacks a painting at the National Gallery of Art, psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, an artist himself, is called in to get to the bottom of Oliver’s motives. Oliver refuses to speak, however, except to offer a cryptic explanation: “I did it for her.” 


Marlow’s assignment has him traveling the world in search of “her.” Is the mystery woman Oliver’s ex-wife? The art student with whom he falls in love?


Oliver maintains his silence, communicating only by painting a beautiful, dark-haired woman whom no one seems to recognize. Breaking his own rules, Marlow digs deeper than he ever has in the life of a patient and finds himself at the center of a story that goes far beyond the mind of a disturbed artistic genius.


The Swan Thieves is a beautifully written story about art, obsession and the mind of a genius.