Painters know burnt sienna as the color of earth and fire, but when Chase Malone sets eyes on Sienna Bellasar, he sees a beauty unmatched by anything he has ever attempted to capture on canvas. Sienna is the wife of international arms deal Derek Bellasar, who tries to force Malone into painting her portrait. But Malone refuses . . . until the CIA persuades him to spy on Bellasar . . . and until he learns that Bellasar previously commissioned paintings of three earlier wives—weeks before each died in suspicious accidents. Convinced that Sienna is in terrible danger, Malone rescues her from Bellasar’s stronghold. He believes that he can outrun, outfight, and outsmart Bellasar, but there may be no place in the world behind Bellasar’s reach and nowhere to hide so beautiful a woman.
“Thrillers don’t get any better than this. The characters are interesting, the plot is relentless, and no one excels at writing action scenes like Morrell.”
“Like his last novel, Double Image, Morrell’s robust latest dips into gothic territory as an obsession with beauty leads to lethal extremes. The new novel incorporates more of the thriller elements for which Morrell is known, depicting one decent man’s fight against a black-market arms dealer equipped with unlimited funds, political access and a private army…Morrell delivers hairpin plot-curves as the lovers make their way to a CIA safe house, only to have Sienna recaptured and Malone left for dead. The mayhem concludes in a pyrotechnic ending with a twist that Morrell’s fans will love.”
“Morrell has always striven to make entertainment literary fiction, and in Burnt Sienna he achieves a perfect fusion between the two. Beautifully written, Burnt Sienna evokes the best of Graham Greene.”
In Black Evening, I included a story about a painter. Here, I decided to write an action novel that features one. The book is about a former Marine helicopter pilot who always wanted to be a painter and eventually becomes a well-known artist, with violent results. I love finding new ways to write thrillers. Like the photography world of Double Image, this book combines action with romance and an artistic profession. The research became dramatic during a trip to a Mexican fishing village where soldiers held my wife and me at gunpoint because they thought we were smugglers. The poignant last scene is my favorite ending in all of my novels.