On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art, today worth over $500 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there's more to this crime than meets the eye.
Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.
©2012 Barbara Shapiro (P)2012 HighBridge Company
"A clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love, and betrayal. B. A. Shapiro knows about Degas, and she knows about art theft and forgery, and she also knows how to tell a gripping story." (Tom Perrotta)
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This is a yummy read. It went all kinds e of unexpected places and reminds us that the art world is no better than the people in it. I had some problems with the heroine. She suffers seriously from a case of the emperor;s clothes. There are some true things you just can't say. But the bits about Degas are delicious, wicked and very fun.
I took one star off because I could see where the end was going , but it did manage to give it a good unexpected twist. It's a very good read.
Isabella Gardner and her museum are real. The focus of the book, a Degas painting, is total fiction based on fact. Degas did do a series of bathers but not this one. If you Google the painting you are referred to B.A. Shapiro! Years ago I was overcome at the sight Renior's Luncheon of the Boating Party when Ms Shapiro attempts to describe first seeing a Degas painting my own experience allowed me to understand what was happening. I never have been able to express those feeling and emotions experienced at that first viewing of the painting and had a lighter heart realizing Ms Shapiro couldn't do it either. Some of Ms Shapiro's facts I question but art and its study are subjective and it didn't hurt me to listen to a different point of view. I am an avid art lover including the Impressionists but if you are not extremely interested in art perhaps this book is not for you. As for the interpersonal relationships and who done it quality they are only OK. I hesitate either to recommend or not recommend this book - sorry!
The narrator was very good and held characters persona well,
I felt the protagonist was naive and only somewhat plausible,
Reviews comparing voice to print is missing the basis for reviews.... Is it a good story? Is it read well consistently with story and characters? Did it hold my attention? Your questions do not lead to accurate reviews.
The book rated one star across the board because I couldn't write this brief review without rating each category. I can't rate the story because the narration was so bad. Probably won't buy the paper or kindle versions--my book "reading" takes place in the car.
The story was well written and the characters were well developed.
I would highly recommend this book.
No. I didn't like the narrator and the story was dragged out. Not able to care I read only for protagonist.
Ok for female but males voices unappealing and they all sounded the same. Cadence was off and each male exactly the same sound.
Not for me. It's a done deal. Enough of the protagonist that I had no feeling for in one book, let alone another.
Yes, for anyone who wants a good thriller mystery
In a class by its self.
I truly loved her delivery.
Once i started this book I couldn't stop until it was finished. I went back a forth between Audio and kindle the whole time. I look forward to the next one of her novels that make it to Audible.
The story and characters were compelling. The narration was perfect. I really lost myself listening to this one. I had to stay up late to find out what happened next. I wish I could find more by this author now!
The various dimensions of the story and the many pieces of the puzzle from different time periods.
The resolution to the puzzle and the surprise of the relationship twister in the end.
She has a great command of the various languages and characters.
No, but it held my attention and kept me wanting more in the end.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
You probably have to love art to really get into this book . . . and I do . . . retired from an art museum . . . though I was on the administrative side, I was completely caught up in the story of Claire Roth, the young struggling artist, first duped by her self-serving art professor, and now involved in reproducing the Degas painting for a famous gallery owner . . . as is absolutely ALWAYS the case in the art world, there are the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS, with the former preying on the hearts and minds of the latter . . . with egos big enough to convince even themselves of the most vicious of lies, they glide through life on a cloud of entitlement, boosted, fed and justified by their cronies . . . and ferreting them out is not always simple . . . as Claire sadly learned . . . with her artist's heart, she created . . . she gave . . . and she believed . . . and she was darn SMART . . . she knew her stuff, despite all the crap thrown at her, she persevered . . . and that's one of the most important things about this story . . . it doesn't matter how many old, educated and self-professed experts tell you that you are wrong, most of them have never gone the extra mile . . . and its true in all professions and in all walks of life . . . The Art Forger is well researched, well written, exceptionally riveting look into the art world, both historically and currently. And it isn't dry and boring. The conclusion is well worth the wait . . . and I didn't see it coming. The only thing I would change is the narration . . . Xe Sands is pouty; her voice is shaky and over dramatic . . . a stronger narrator would have been much better.
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