The Accordo

ABOUT Roberta Smith

Roberta Smith
I like serendipity, synchronicity, and things that are strange. I love good ghost stories, especially the ones I write. I've been known to stay in haunted hotels I've heard about on TV. I like to read mysteries, paranormal novels, and books about spiritual law. I'm not big on reading Youn More...


She wanted eternity with the man she loved and went too far.  Now she wants to destroy everyone around her and only psychic medium Mickey McCoy stands in her way.

When a call from a stranger lures psychic medium Mickey McCoy to Hollywood, he is told that the male employees of the Brahms Museum of Art are in danger of being murdered. But this mysterious informant refuses to share further details, leaving Mickey on his own to gather all the facts and stop the murders from happening.

At the museum Mickey is drawn to a self-portrait of Renaissance artist Lavinia Rossi Zanetti. It doesn’t take long before he realizes her soul is attached to the painting, and she likes to kill. For years, the companion portrait of her lover that hung beside her own served to keep her calm. But that painting has been lost. 

At first glance it seems a simple matter of reuniting the two paintings to keep Lavinia in check. But as Mickey unravels the mystery of how this could be, he finds himself at the center of something more sinister. An agreement called an Accordo somehow allows Lavinia to live forever. Without realizing it, Mickey passes the point of no return and must eradicate the painting and sever the Accordo. Can he succeed in time? Or is he in so far over his head that a greater horror than he could have imagined will be unleashed upon the Earth?

Mickey needed a new adventure and I was always intrigued by Artemisia Gentileschi. I think what happened to her resulted in some violently graphic paintings. Now my Lavinia isn't Artemisia, and so what happened to her resulted in something far more sinister.

Roberta Smith offers a wonderful paranormal thriller filled with realistic characters -- most of them likable, and a few you'll love to hate. Mickey McCoy is a savvy, sixty-something psychic who's on the trail of an evil portrait that has the power to kill. Along the way, he encounters the host of a ghost-hunting reality TV show with a sweet wife who, by her own admission, doesn't have "a psychic bone in my body." At least one of the portrait's victims may actually deserve what he gets ... but it's Mickey's beloved wife who may be in the most danger. Smith's light, deft prose makes this a real page-turner, with terrific atmosphere, snappy dialog and just the right amount of humor. A pleasure to read! - Sierra Donovan

The Accordo is intricately plotted and carefully researched. Roberta actually based the character of Lavinia on a real-life Renaissance artist named Artemisia Gentileschi, and these authentic details add another layer to an already packed story. The characters and their relationships with each other are particularly engaging. I loved the relationship between Mickey and Marjorie. They clearly love each other and are willing to go to any lengths to keep the other safe and happy. But it is the ghostly characters that I found the most intriguing. Although Lavinia is a truly evil and vile creature, the author manages to give her a horrific back-story that may evoke compassion from the reader. One of my favorite characters was another slightly unpleasant ghost named Avery, the dead daughter of the woman who owned the two paintings, and who has a complicated story all her own.

And I've barely scratched the surface on the cast of characters and subplots that figure in the final showdown between Mickey and Lavinia. Smith does a wonderful job keeping all of them straight and navigating her intricate plot, while infusing her story with terrifying and ghostly events alongside some remarkable emotionally charged moments. Although I won't reveal the ending, I can tell you it was brilliant. Smith has a true gift for story-telling, and I'll be anxious to read her next book. - T. Sparks