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Publisher's Summary

Contemporary/historical suspense audiobook set amid the art world of modern day NYC and the dawn of the Renaissance in Italy.

Bronx born and bred, Mackenzie Ferrara is both nervous and excited to begin her career as a restorer of fine art at the prestigious Cloisters in New York City. The star of the restoration team is a handsome and reserved Italian, Anthony Bataglia. On loan from the Ufizzi, he is renowned for his ability to bring pre-Renaissance treasures back to life. Despite a rocky start, the two form a close working relationship, which Mackenzie hopes will blossom into something more. 

But as she works with him she begins to notice peculiar patterns and unexplainable similarities in all of his restorations. Something is clearly not what it seems to be with the dashing Mr. Bataglia. Mackenzie - with help from her father, a retired detective - is determined to uncover the truth, regardless of the consequences.

©2015 Matthew O'Connell (P)2018 Matthew O'Connell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great art history & detail with a good twist.

This is a good listen filled with fascinating art history shared with a twist. My rating 4.25.

Mackenzie is excited to begin her new career as a restorer of fine art at the prestigious Cloisters Museum. She is partnered to work under a renowned restorer, a handsome Italian, Anthony Bataglia. Anthony specializes in restorations of pre-Renaissance works. He is quiet and dedicated and Mackenzie is learning as he mentors her, showing her how to inspect every corner and inch of the work, documenting any deterioration in color, paint medium, canvas, condition or other unusual anomalies.

Mackenzie notices an unusual detail regarding women in several paintings as well as a mystery about the signatures. Mackenzie’s father is a retired cop who has reason to be interested in art anomalies due to an old forgery case. They discuss the details of Mackenzie’s research and turn up some more interesting facts. Mackenzie’s investigation brings a possibility of romance while revealing some surprises and twists that are unique and fun.

The plot details are engaging and kept me eagerly listening. The historical elements of the paintings and the detailed explanation of restoration are very fascinating. The descriptions would pull in any art lover and even those of us who are familiar with some art periods and styles but are in no way art authorities. I recommend this to mystery lovers as well as art lovers.

Audio Notes: Susan Fouche does a wonderful job with the narration. She provides appropriate voices and energies to each of the characters. The presentation is clear and flows easily. I enjoyed this and highly recommend the audio version.

Source: Author Marketing Experts.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great mystery with twists and turns

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio book. The author was very knowledgeable about art restoration particularly pre-Renaissance works. There are flashbacks to the artists who created the early masterpieces, which creates an interesting point of view. The story starts with Mckenzie Ferrara, a recent art school graduate who is anxious to start her job with one of the most respected art houses in the country. She will be working with Anthony Bataglia, a brilliant art restorer from Italy. Mackenzie learns a lot from Bataglia, but some things don’t seem to add up. She begins to suspect that Bataglia is not all he seems. She enlists the help of her father, A retired NYPD detective, to investigate some of the strange happenings. There are lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.

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Great story with art history, romance, fantasy

I was totally engrossed with this book the story and the characters were enthralling. Definitely would recommend for lovers of The Time Traveler's Wife and for people who love The Cloisters on the East Coast. (I've only been once on a field trip but the descriptions were spot on). The obvious love of art history and art by the author definitely come through and made this novel very enjoyable especially for somebody who studied art history only as an amateur and hearing about the process of restoration...well I highly enjoyed this production. Audio was great as well!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

I've listened to a few audio books in the past. One thing I've noticed is if the story bores me, or the narrators voice is a certain tone, I fall asleep! I was wary of whether or not that would be the case with this one. Thankfully, it wasn't! The story its self is fascinating. Not only are the characters themselves put together quite well, but the interesting art facts make it so much more interesting. For someone like me who did a course of art appreciation in school, it was a great refresher. It also thrilled me that I was able to understand the techniques used. Mackenzie and Anthony's relationship starts off with a small spark or two and takes a few twists and turns as they learn more about each others and hidden truths! It has a lot of deep emotion, chance to learn, suspense and a few things that have you going "what was that?". Over all its an awesome audio book! I'm thrilled the narrator was able to convey the story in a manner that captured the essence of the whole book. Well done!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and calming narrator

I hadn't listened to an audiobook in quite some time and forgotten how enjoyable they could be, how relaxing, especially when the narrator is so soothing to listen to. I found the story interesting which is not always the case when the subject is about art. I enjoyed how the author went back and forth from past to present. The book was thoroughly enjoying to listen to and I think I will listen to it again on the next rainy day.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun story!

I don’t usually listen to fiction audiobooks, but I am so glad I picked this one up. Once I got into it, I didn’t want to stop listening. Clocking in at 10 hours, I enjoyed this book while sewing, cleaning, and driving around town. I would even stay up late to listen to another chapter just to see how things were going to work out.
There are two elements of an audio book that need to be considered. The only negative I can offer is that the narrator used a breathy voice for our main character Mackenzie Ferrara that made her seem young and immature. Other than that the reading was great!
I found it difficult to review the book without spoiling the plot twist. It is a darn good one, and not one you see coming. I usually skip ahead in books to see how things work out, and I am thankful I did not have the opportunity in this instance. I definitely enjoyed the ride.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great read for my cross country adventure!

This book was such a pleasant experience while driving through the fields of Nebraska and Iowa. I felt instantly transported to not only Mackenzie Ferrara’s world, but also pre-renaissance Florence! The story flowed so seamlessly between each character and fit so well together. It was easy to follow along and I loved the description of the art pieces and painting processes. Having visited Florence and Lucca several years ago, I loved that portion of the story most. The idea of a son working under his father learning the process was so interesting to me, and I loved seeing how the two stories eventually tie together. Some parts of the story seemed a bit predictable but if you like historical fiction and suspense you won’t mind a bit!

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  • JP
  • 07-05-18

Five stars!

I listen to a great deal of audiobooks, and can tell you that regardless of the writing, the reader can make or break the book. The reading in this book was wonderful, as was the story so it was a win-win! While there is a great deal discussed about art in the story, it isn’t necessary that you be a big art fan in order to enjoy it. I liked the back and forth between the different time periods - it was done quite well. This book was a joy to listen to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a fun and mysterious book

I loved the inflection in the narrator’s voice. This definitely helped for the audience to distinguish between different characters. This is certainly an intriguing book about a painter who has lived many life times. If art isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, it is just the background information and setting for a great mystery. I love how a retired detective who is the father of Mackenzie, helps his daughter crack the case about some oddities that she runs across at her new job. This book is read with great inflection and tone. It is very easy to understand the narrator and to follow along without getting lost. There are some moments that are exciting and other moments that are quite sad. This book will definitely elicit multiple emotions from the audience. The storyline is quite an interesting concept. I feel that this would be a wonderful book for adults interested in intriguing well written mysteries. This would be wonderful to listen to on a road trip, on a vacation, or on a rainy day. The concept is so intriguing that I feel many others would love it too!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Painter of Time

It had been a few months since I last listened to an audiobook. I was excited for The Painter of Time since it seemed to mix some art history along with some suspense. Narrator wise: the narrator's voice was pleasant and soothing. In the beginning I thought her Italian accent was cheesy, but it grew on me the longer I listened. Plot wise: I found it interesting. I appreciated that the author chose some well known pieces of art to mention as it was easy to visualize the pieces that were being worked on. Mackenzie Ferrara was an easy character to root for, but maybe it is due to the fact I like seeing young women being successful in their career field. Anthony Bataglia, the famous restorer immediately came off as a slimey up to no good character, but I am guessing that was the goal of the author. At times the plot line was predictable (Mackenzie falling for Bataglia, Bataglia's work being suspicious), but I did enjoy the time hops back into the past. You can tell that the author did his research on Italian art and the restoration process.