Genre: Literary Fiction
Author: B.A. Shapiro
Publisher: Algonquin Books, 2012
Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from amazon.com(Abriviated):
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today 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.
Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when the long-missing Degas painting—the one that had been hanging for one hundred years at the Gardner—is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
Claire’s search for the truth about the painting’s origins leads her into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.
I liked this novel but it was flawed. The protagonist, Claire was someone who needed serious guidance since she made one career misstep after another. Because she seemed so clueless at times I wanted to stop reading. The pace in the beginning was slow and I kept asking myself where this story was going. The author kept informing me that there was no crime in forging a painting only in selling the forgery as an original. Okay, but still Claire knew it was wrong but she still participated and this left me at odds with the books ending.
What I thought was especially good in this book was the instruction on how to forge a painting. This was fascinating and informative. I also liked the information about the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum and the theft of paintings a number of years ago. The author gives valuable information at the back of the book in “A note on Research” to help define what in the novel was fact and what was fiction.