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 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.
This story wasn't bad but the female character was a pain in the butt. Better as a book than an audiobook because then you could skip her useless whining ways.
The art bits were good, anything where we didn't have to deal with the female character was fine.
I didn't mind the narration, it was what was being narrated that was the issue.
All the hysterics
A good story spoilt by a totally impossible character. I won't be buying another book by this author.
The story line is excellent and original - but I mostly napped or fast-forwarded through the Part 1, and the action doesn't really start until Part 2. I usually yawn through interludes where old correspondence is read when such letter-reading interludes are employed merely to add texture. In this case, I became tired of listening to Ms. Gardner's shopping escapades and travels with brand name artists and art critics and I didn't think it mattered to hear about the details of Degas life as seen by someone who knew him. Other readers might love this, so it's just one of my proclivities, or negativities, as the case may be.
There are some sexual diversions, which are brief and succinct, thankfully, because this is not chic-fic, but there are also some passages which are outright pollyanna-ish - there could have been a better way to expand on the moments that the protagonist is finally becoming successful, instead of having her sound like Dorothy clicking her heels, "not in Kansas" any more.
I also think that including sex and romance with the "deal with the devil" is predictable and overdone, but perhaps that helps sell books and to fund the ongoing flow of audiobooks for our consumption and enjoyment, who can figure, except editors and marketing gurus.
The writer masters the true-crime parts of the story effectively, mixing the facts of the actual art heist smoothly with fictional inventions and story arc.
I generally like Xe Sands as a narrator - but for this book I thought she sounded too girlish and neither ironic nor "noir" enough for this story. Her voice occasionally gives an innocence, sensuality and enthusiasm which I didn't think worked with the plot line.
I am giving this a 4 instead of a 5 because of the disconnect between story and reader. I wish I could give it a 4.5, because said disconnect is not a huge factor and only occasionally affected my listening groove.
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!
I really enjoyed this work of fiction based on the famous robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The plot twist and turns were fun, the main character was compelling and I learned a lot about the science behind art forgery. I look forward to listening to more works both by the author and by the narrator.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others as a beach or cozy couch read. I give it three stars because it's good, not great, and creates a confusion between fact and fiction.
Claire, an up-and-coming Boston artist who makes a living copying famous works of art for a reproduction company, is asked by an art dealer to make a copy of a painting, a painting that turns out to be one of the works of art stolen from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in 1992. Fact: there was a major art heist there. Fiction: this particular piece of art by Degas.
As Claire wrestles with the ethics of what she is doing she relives the angst of her relationship with a married man, who sold a piece of art she did to MoMA, passing it off as his own. Of course nothing good comes of that relationship, and it seems Claire is doomed in relationships and in the art world forever...or is she?
I loved the descriptions of the art process. It really made a visual presentation for me.
It was a combination of successes and failures, much like life.
Very flowing without being overdone.
The moment that the paintings arrive at the apartment of the forger. I really got a sense of how awe inspired she was of the originals.
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