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 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.
Well researched thrillers Chriton-esque. Nonfiction: Science, medical, biography, "self-help" meta cognitive sub-genre, memoir, philosophy..
03 words: I wish the painting have been there Vermeer. The plot draws upon an intriguing story in real art history. The characters are very well done. It's not overly thrilling, overly scary… It's just not over the top. However it was eminently listenable. And my immediate reaction upon concluding the book was to see if the author had another available on audible.com.
The plot kept me going in no small part due to the characters and their relationships. Yet this is an easy book to have going on while doing other things around the house.
The main character. I think the narrator did a poor job with male voices and it took some real getting used to. Plus all the male voices were the same to my ear.
In many ways this book was just exactly what I wanted and needed. I wish I had more of them. Not too heavy. Not too twisty. Not too dark. Yet grounded and not out floating around somewhere in the universe of lost threads. I like the insight into the main character and thought that was very well written. That character was humanized. Artist or not, it could've been so many of us.
At an eight out of ten. good story overall
the stages of painting the artwork was the most interesting
Its a good story. A bit too much is given away as you hear letters from Bel Gardner but the end twists enough to keep it interesting. Wish the main character was stronger but...
In the end, I enjoyed this narrator, but the breathy overly sexual interpretation of the men's voices, I found off-putting. Either I got used to it or it was less obvious a few chapters in and I enjoyed the narrator.
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.
Ok, this is nothing at all like the art world that actually exists. This book is really over the top silly, which would be fine if it wasn't also just bad. The ethical positions that the character takes over and over again are not just questionable, but wrong. The storyline is extremely scattered and there are a lot of pointless subplots that peter out with no resolution.
Poor lady. The character was so annoying that I don't think any narrator could have made her likeable, but Sands has a nasal inflection to her voice that really underscored the character's flaws.
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.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
I confess, I did not not like this book. I wanted to like it but never got there. This has a lot to do with the awful narration. Every male character sounds like an airline pilot on sleeping pills. The victim, rather, central character seems a wreck of a person who I just couldn't find any empathy for.
The story had potential but the past and present stories only fit together by a thread of irony. The "three years ago" stuff really wasn't a good vehicle to support or move the plot---it was ironic but not necessary. Think about it.
Stripping out the whole Issac thing would have cut this down to a decent read.
No, I barely could stay interested and was sorry at the end that our hero wasn't hauled off to prison for making me endure this story.
I wouldn't recommend it. But you might like it. It ain't literature folks. Taste in stories vary. You may like it. Many do.
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