While Jeffrey Archer may not be my favorite author, he is the author of my favorite book of all time. So his books always come with big expectations attached. He's been quite versatile too, penning sprawling epics(Kane & Abel), quickfire thrillers(Shall We Tell The President), novels on con games(Not a penny more, Not a penny less) as well as political novels. False Impression is a thriller set in the art world and though far from being a classic or an epic, it is a fast read.
Behind False Impression is a painting by Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. After it is the owner of a Finance company, Fenston, who has made a habit out of lending money to owners of great works of art and then finding a way to gain possession of the painting when the money is due. This time he wants to lay his hands on Gogh's self-portrait but one of his own employees, Anna, is determined to prevent that. And the events of 9/11 force them both to change their plans.
The events of 9/11 are closely linked to the story since one of the key characters is actually in the North Tower of the WTC when the plane crashes into it. The consequences of what happened that day make even simple things(like flying to Europe) exponentially more difficult for the people in the novel. So it is used more as a plot point but doesn't feel too exploitative.
All books and movies dealing with paintings have one key plot point and Archer too resorts to the same. So a key aspect of the book is in a way, predictable. But he manages to keep the story moving with a number of smaller twists and surprises. There are also a huge number of characters and most of them have some kind of a backstory(usually with some suspense involved). That helps move the book along too.