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)
The story might be okay, though the protagonist, Claire, comes across as enormously whiny and self-centered, I might have listened to it till the end, had the narrator not be so awful. She does all the voices in the same snooty-sounding, bored drone, as if she is stoned or half asleep. I don't like to criticize, but it just is not a voice I personally found very pleasant. I just couldn't care about the characters because they were so bland and self-obsessed, it seemed to me.Maybe I would have liked the print version better, because the premise of the story has a lot of potential, but in the audiobook, I was very disappointed.
No. The story was OK but the main character was terrible - insecure to a ridiculous degree, self deceiving, with bad judgement (so bad, it was not believable). The narration was much too slow; eventually I borrowed the book from the library in order to skip to the end and find out what happened because I couldn't stand the thought of another two hours of listening. That's a first for me. As for Xe Sands, here voice was fine (occasionally whiney but based on the character, that was appropriate). There was some action to the story but not much, and it got lost between the navel-gazing/angst indulgence of the main character and the slowness of the reading.
No idea. This was my first, and it's going to be my last.
Anyone who could have speeded things up. Xe Sands would have been fine if she doubled her speed.
The main character. She spent so much time agonizing over everything and doing things that were just plain stupid -- helping people who were users, then expecting thanks; not realizing that no one wants to be shown to be wrong, especially "experts", and wondering why people didn't welcome her interference when the outcome made them look bad. Duh. And did I say "agonizing" yet? She did so much of it, over EVERYTHING, that I think it needs repeating.
This is the first audio book for which I am going to request a refund. Don't waste a credit on this.
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 story was well written and the characters were well developed.
I would highly recommend this book.
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!
While parts of this book were quite interesting, the narration was not very good. All of Ms. Sands' male characters sounded the same, like they had strep throat as well as a hangover. The big surprise at the end was pretty obvious for the last three hours of the book.
The story of an artist's passion and the history of the art world were entertaining and engaging. Sadly, there really wasn't enough character development for me to care all that much about what happened to the people in the story. The two leads don't seem to have much in common and Claire comes across as emotionally stunted. The slow, breathy, whiney narration does NOT help with this.
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.
I am an artist and so I am automatically drawn to books with an art theme. Some are good some are not. This one had it all for me... Art theme, a great story that kept me guessing (Who doesn't?)
Told by a narrater who is wonderfully easy to listen to - draws you in - kept me totally engaged.
A fun ride - I was sad to have end.
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