Judith Rashleigh works as an assistant in a prestigious London auction house by day but by night to make ends meet, she is a hostess at one of the capital's notorious champagne bars. Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows that she has to play the game. But when she stumbles across a conspiracy at her auction house she is fired before she can expose the fraud. Feeling reckless, she accompanies one of the champagne bar's biggest clients to the French Riviera, only to find herself alone again after a fatal accident. Tired of striving and the slow crawl to the top, Judith has a realization: If you need to turn into someone else, loneliness is a good place to start.
Despite a slow start, the pace begins to really pick up when Judith discovers the conspiracy and she is fired. As the location shifts from dreary London to sunny Paris things take on a dark twist as our protagonist starts on her murderous trail that eventually leads her full circle to a dramatic finish back in Paris a year later. Hilton's use of different locations are beautifully described as are her characters and adds layers of atmosphere to the already lively plot. Told from the first person allows readers to really get inside Judith's head, but Hilton does not give too much away as in true thriller style she really holds back on a lot of what Judith is plotting.
It is evident that Hilton has written what she knows about; having studied art history and lived in Paris, New York and London, all art hot spots has added detailed layers to her descriptions of the art pieces talked about in the story. There is plenty to grab your attention but if are of the sensitive type then be warned as this book contains plenty of racy scenes. Of course there needs to be a certain amount of sexiness attached as Hilton has placed her character in a world where nothing less is expected and is in keeping with her characters personality.
Maestra has already sold in 30 territories and is about to be made into a Hollywood film. On part this is a very well written book, and it is easy to see why it would work so well on screen with its beautiful locations and decadence, but perhaps it will not be for everyone's taste.