With the cunning of Gone Girl's Amy Dunne, and as dangerous as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander, the femme fatale of this Talented Mr. Ripley-esque psychological thriller is sexy, smart, and very, very bad in all the best ways.
By day, Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a prestigious London art house.
By night, she's a hostess at one of the capital's notorious champagne bars, although her work there pales against her activities on nights off.
To get what she wants
Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She's transformed her accent and taught herself about wine and the correct use of a dessert fork, not to mention the art of discretion. She's learned to be a good girl. But when Judith is fired for uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world - and her honest efforts at a better life are destroyed - she turns to a long-neglected friend. A friend who kept her chin up and back straight through every slight: rage.
She will cross every line
Feeling reckless, she accompanies one of the champagne bar's biggest clients to the French Riviera, only to find herself alone again after a fatal accident. Tired of striving and the slow crawl to the top, Judith has a realization: If you need to turn yourself into someone else, loneliness is a good place to start. And she's been lonely a long time.
Maestra is a glamorous, ferocious thriller and the beginning of a razor-sharp trilogy that introduces the darkly irresistible Judith Rashleigh, a femme fatale for the ages whose vulnerability and ruthlessness will keep you guessing until the last minute.
©2016 L. S. Hilton (P)2016 Penguin Audio
Do you recall landing that first job after college, the one in your field? While a "starter" position, would undoubtedly lead to success through hard work and one small break where you'd be able to show your worth? Meet Judith. In the highly competitive art world, she's the girl you went to college with that you KNOW will make her mark on the world.
When that (seemingly) golden opportunity to show her true value to her employers arises, Judith jumps at her chance to advance beyond the drudgery of her entry level position. However who thinks about office politics, petty jealousy, and basic greed- especially in that rose colored phase of life when your life is wide open in front of you?
While admittedly Judith leads a much more glamorous social life than I did when starting my career, her professional start mirrors that of most graduates just starting out. Struggling with finances, building professional credibility, her life is (for the most part) following her plan- and then comes the pivotal decision kicking off a new path.
Maestra allows the reader to escape into a delicious fantasy that won't be experienced or even witnessed by the vast majority of readers- that of the top 1%. Comparison to '50 Shades' misrepresentative; while there are a few erotic situations, these do NOT make up the bulk of the novel and are not its central theme.
Overall I think this is well worth the audible credit. I see Maestra becoming this years' top summer vacation read.
Great introduction book for a trilogy. The main character develops into a scandalous and intriguing woman with much more to learn about her. It's very graphic, so if you're not into that this book isn't for you. However, it all fits well into the theme of haute culture, sex, drugs, survival and the covet of prestige and status that is represented in the world of black market fine art dealing. Some confusion of small events and characters and lots of Italian and French phrases that don't get translated but very minor in the overall picture and doesn't detract from the story. I don't understand the low ratings, even if the book wasn't your style it's at minimum entertaining.
Eclectic bookworm...I listen to a little bit of everything. Give up after listening to something for 20 minutes and don't like it.
This book was beyond weird, but I found it to be fairly entertaining. The author has a dry sense of humor that can be pretty hilarious at times. I liked hearing about Judith's luxury travels throughout Europe, as well as her experiences in espionage. However, I definitely could have done without the crude sex scenes which were quite gross in my opinion.
The character Judith reminded me a bit of Walt from the TV series Breaking Bad, in the sense that they both start off as seemingly normal, benign people who through a series of circumstances find themselves engaging in criminal behavior and indulging in their previously latent psychopathic proclivities.
Emilia Fox had the perfect voice for Judith - young, sophisticated, and edgy. She made the audiobook easy to listen to.
This was a really fast read. I found the main character of the sociopathic anti-heroine to be rather clever and interesting. However, while I found the overall story and main character oddly compelling, I would have enjoyed it much more minus the graphic and, I felt, rather unpleasant sex scenes. I give this a mixed review because the story was interesting enough to stand on its own without the many vivid descriptions of pointless and empty sex. The narrator did a great job.
The Skimm said it best "The European art world mixes with an underground world. This thriller is like 'The Talented Mr Ripley' meets 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Definitely racy parts - just a heads up since I wasn't expecting that, but they were great in the story. I listened going back and forth from work and I couldn't wait to get in my car to hear what was next. Never a dull minute from beginning to end. The best part was Emilia Fox's performance. She did an incredible job of capturing the essence of every character and exactly the right tone and mood of every step of the story. I think she really made the story so interesting to listen to. I will be looking for others she has done. I recommend this for readers who enjoy mystery, suspense, and aren't offended by erotica. Enjoy!
The various accents and character voices were terrific. This was the one bright aspect for this book--I'll keep her in mind when searching for other books.
Not for me, it doesn't.
The author had the potential of a very good story here, but just too much graphic and gratuitous sex got in the way. Also, I came away with the feeling she was trying to impress the reader with her knowledge of fashion and high living. The portions given to art and the surrounding mystery had the potential for a real good read.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
A young , talented art graduate comes to the complex world of art galleries in London and gradually turns into a serial killer. The storyline is captivating, moving from Mayfair to South of France, Rome and then Paris. It could have been an interesting and pleasant reading with the glamour of exotic places, the complexity of art business and the excitement of unusual sex situations. But the underlying depth of characters is thin and basic, the plot not always consistent and believable and the -sex at times - a turnoff. It is a first book and it shows.
Hopefully the second book will more mature and fluid, with more enjoyable characters.
I loved everything about this book. Reminds me of a line from Eat Pray Love: The words are like truffles. The words the author uses to describe a room or person or event makes everything sound so interesting.
I loved every page and was continually surprised where the story went.
Judith. By the end of the book you feel like she's a real part of your life, and I miss her!
No, I wanted to savor it. Didn't want it to end.
Is it really to be continued...?
Not since the kinky Wachowski film "Bound" have I found a crime caper this captivating. Intrigue amidst characters who never turn their back on one another, with all of the appropriate twists and turns one expects of the genre. From gamy sexual encounters to very snooty high society settings, the energy and the characters make the listener impatient for more.
While not exactly a couple,the two main characters seem to work best as a team...for a while.
Hard to choose - the landscape is varied and many, many sequences linger.
If only! And while it seems destined for film, one enjoys the book so much one wishes for a sequel.
Be sure to get the right version of the book, which is available in more than one language!
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